How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Are you looking for a job? Make sure the job you’re applying for fits your personality type.

Unemployment nationally is 7.6%. The national economy added 195,000 new jobs in June, Unemployment in May was down in California to 8.6% from 9% in April. The biggest gains were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 9,000 jobs, and in the government sector, which added 8,400 jobs. Even though the economy is improving, you may have a better chance of finding a job if you change careers.

My friend Ron is going to be looking for a job soon. He’s been working for the same company that sells electronic parts for 30 years and it’s going out of business. He knows he wants to do something radically different but doesn’t know what.The Career Within You  (by E.Wagele and I. Stabb—HarperCollins publishers) is a practical book on how to choose and manage your career based on the Enneagram personality types. Its Wagele-Stabb Career Finder will help Ron match his particular strengths with the best career for him, perhaps something connected to reading or the arts in his case. After he determines his personality type and chooses the best way to manage his career, The Career Within You will give him detailed steps to take on writing a résumé and landing a new job.

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Chapter 11 is a Job-Hunting Guide. “You can never be too prepared for an interview, whether it is informational or for a specific job opening. Do your homework in advance by looking up the company online, reading articles about its constituents or competitors, and perusing biographical information about the person who will be interviewing you. Interviewers might ask you what you think of their products and services, so gather your thoughts about what you read and observe. Be prepared to make suggestions from your fresh set of eyes and to ask insightful questions. If you know people who have worked for this organization, call them in advance and ask for context and tips.

Review the job description again for clarity about the requirements of the organization. Review your elevator speech and résumé again, matching your experience against those requirements. Skilled interviewers will use a technique called behavioral interviewing, where they will inquire about specific examples of your experience…

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”

Ideally, all interviews are two-way streets where the employer gets to ask questions to see if you’re the person needed for the job and you get to ask questions to see if the group is the one you want to work for. Unfortunately, the conversation tends to be one-way at first, but you still need to interview the organization and get to the bottom of the ten items in your list of prioritized needs… “

This Dear Abby advice is from the San Francisco Chronicle, 6-22-13:

“Dear Abby: I am the human resources director for a nonprofit organization. Ninety-five percent of all the candidates I interview know little to nothing about the organization for which they are interviewing.

Most organizations are less likely to hire an applicant who has done no research on the company. – Shaking My Head in San Diego

Dear Shaking Your Head: That’s good advice.”

I’ll have to recommend to Ron that he read Dear Abby too.

Visit for Famous Enneagram Types and to check out my books, CD, cartoons, and essays.

Please read my blog on Death Cafes in Psychology Today.

Cartoon by EWagele from "The Career Within You"

Cartoon by EWagele from “The Career Within You”


What 3 Elements Do “Helpers” Look for in Jobs?

Helper's wishes

Helper's Wishes from "Career Within You"

Some Helpers want to be needed and appreciated primarily by helping someone else shine, some thrive by offering advice wherever possible, and some prefer being an essential hub for the organization (Joan on Mad Men). If you are a Helper in the Enneagram personality system, Ingrid Stabb, career expert, believes one of these fundamentals will probably outweigh the others in importance as you assess what you need to fulfill in your work situation:

  •  the opportunity to work on your interests or passions
  • the income it will provide, or
  • successful affiliation with other people. Here’s an example of each:

Following his passion and counseling others in relationships.

Going to a psychotherapist himself inspired Peter to follow a career in therapy. The field is a perfect fit because it combines intellectual challenge with the opportunity to interview clients, encourage them, and watch them grow. After working in the inner city with a clientele of chronic addicts, he now runs his own psychotherapy practice working with adults on careers and relationships. Peter takes pleasure working in a field where he can feel genuine love and compassion for his clients.

Working for income and serving as an integral part of the organization

Charles considered several career paths, including foreign service and nonprofit work. Deciding he could make the biggest impact as a major donor, her pursued a career in investment banking. After achieving financial success, he entered public service and helped congressional candidates raise campaign funds. Then he helped Homeland Security by coordinating the deployment of six thousand National Guard troops and improved information flow between the department, the White House, and Congress. Charles became the department’s chief of staff, the trusted right-hand man to the top boss, and helped competing departments work together.

Affiliating and helping others become successful

In high school, Clare was impressed by a journalist who spoke at career day, but it was not until much later that she realized she could become a writer too. First she authored a large resource book while working for a business that helped kids develop confidence in their academic skills. Then at a software firm she helped marketing directors to express promotional content more eloquently. After building up a solid resume of writing, she became an independent consultant. Her task now is to listen to her clients, write what she thinks they want to say, and then double–check them to make sure she has captured it to their liking.

Once you’re aware of your preferences for these three elements, you can apply this knowledge to assessing your past jobs and those you are looking at applying for in order to decide which one will be most satisfying to you.

(This is the second in series of career motivations. Please see my Psychology Blog of 5-17-11 for the first–on Perfectionists.)

P.S. Please see “About Elizabeth Wagele” on this site to find out about my upcoming presentation at the Fort Lauderdale IEA Conference, Sunday, July 31.


Fives From the Inside

Drawing by E. Wagele

(This was originally  submitted to an IEA project on “Enneagram types from the inside out” and published in the “9 Points Magazine” October/December 2010 issue.)

There are two main ways people misunderstand us Fives (Observer types). The first way often involves projections, which may be anything from “oh you poor dear, you’re so socially inept you need help…” to “you’re so quiet because you think you’re superior to us…” to “you-re so smart I’m scared of you!”

1.     I don’t think I fit into the socially inept category. I’m far from a social genius, but I’ve heard a couple of people say I’m “poised,” maybe because I’ve developed the art of the poker face, which some people may take for poise.

2.     In the past I was quieter than I am now. If I want to be heard I’ll usually speak up. I’ve learned it’s a good idea to let people know who I am before they start inventing things about me. I also feel pretty non-judgmental as I think most of us Fives are. We are different from most other people—not better—which isn’t easy, so that helps us be compassionate.

3.     A lot of Fives seem smart because they love to collect information. I’ve never had a good memory for some kinds of information but I do have a good memory for music.

Another way people misunderstand us is from Enneagram stereotyping. For example, I’m a “Feeling type” in the MBTITM system, an INFP; I have a strong Four wing. (Most Fives are “Thinking types.”) My feelings happen to me immediately; they don’t delay until I’m home or alone. The knowledge I crave is often emotional. I prefer movies, for example, that are personal, with artistic photography and music—not grand smashing epics. Some Fives avoid drama because it’s too much for them. I like it if it’s good art that holds together well. People and art need integrity; I don’t like glitzy stuff or phoniness. I don’t think I’m cold, a machine, or a bundle of fear as some of the stereotyping goes.

Something related to being misunderstood is that I sometimes have a hard time translating the thoughts and feelings in my mind into words. They will be in the form of a kind of structure or picture. This isn’t a problem if I’m writing and have plenty of time, but in conversation you have to quickly make what’s in your mind verbal in order to keep up.

Some Fives may feel they don’t exist. I’ve been asked what “not existing” means. For me it’s a combination of not being noticed, not feeling involved in what’s going on, and feeling as though I live in a different world. Most Fives are introverts. We often aren’t stimulating to extroverts (until they get to know us) so they don’t see us.

One advantage of being a Five or an introvert is my ability to entertain myself. I gave my book, “The Happy Introvert,” its title because I was often running into people who thought introverts were morose or unfortunate. I wanted to dispel those attitudes right on the cover. Anyway, if I’m in a doctor’s office, for example, with nothing to do, I can look at the bare wall and find something interesting in its imperfections. Our curiosity is a big advantage. Many of us are especially happy alone. We’re good friends to ourselves. I never have enough time to engage in all my interests.


I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us Fives say that our social skills could be improved. For example, I can’t imagine being an enthusiastic catalyst to a group of people. How can I call myself an Observer when observing hasn’t taught me how to negotiate social scenes with ease? I must have a gene missing that would have helped me pick those skills up. I’m just not going to break into a conversation people are having at a cocktail party, for example. But I don’t even like cocktail parties. They’re too noisy and—have you ever noticed—people seem to laugh at nothing just because it’s time to laugh?

When I was in grade school, I’d often feel like a disappointment to the adults at recesses and lunch because I didn’t know how to join a group at play and I’d never just barge in. This must come from my own dislike of being barged in upon. So I’d go off to a part of the school ground that was overgrown and enjoy the meadow, trees, and birds. Other than that, I’d watch the other children. I’d feel bored in school a lot.

It’s easiest to be with people who chatter enough for me to feel I’m off the hook as far as starting conversations goes. Maybe it’s a form of social anxiety that my mind goes blank, for there’s plenty in there I could talk about. I don’t understand how some people can talk on and on about what seems like nothing.

When I was in my early forties, I made a project out of making as many friends as I could in order to get over feeling Awkward around people. I have learned how to feel comfortable being me and no longer feel as much like an alien thanks to that decision. My friends help me feel I belong.


Music was my big interest from my earliest memory. I taught myself how to play the piano at first, and then I talked my parents into getting me a teacher. I liked making up stories with dolls, including making villages for them out of twigs at the base of large trees.

My father was also a Five. He was a scientist and I admired his knowledge, his dignity, his sense of humor, and his character. One of his sisters, a Seven, was another hero of mine. We’d sit in a restaurant and she’d make up stories about the other customers. It was as though she was giving them Enneagram numbers but it was way before our current Enneagram of personality days. Her stories were full of intrigue, adventure, and humor. I found out decades later that the bridge parties she claimed to be attending were really trips to gambling casinos.

More on Me (no, I didn’t say Moron Me)

I was asked what my best and worst qualities are. I’m punctual, competent, I try to be objective, I like to be kind to people, and my friends seem to appreciate my warped sense of humor, which is also an asset when it comes to making cartoons. I’m not always as diplomatic as I’d like to be. My worst quality from deep inside of myself is my self-criticism. It never stops. I try to love myself more and quit beating myself up but I haven’t yet reached my goal.

My family is mostly my husband, my four children and my eight grand children. I completely devoted myself to raising my children and I loved it. I got to stay home with them, teaching piano lessons after my husband returned from teaching high school. I quit teaching when I became involved in writing books.

These days I write a blog every week, one on WordPress and one on Psychology Today Both are called “The Career Within You.” I’m also working on a book on how people face dying and think about death according to their Enneagram type. In addition, I work on promoting “The Career Within You,” my CD, “The Beethoven Enneagram,” and my other books I also work in my garden and play the piano at parties. I’m learning some Beethoven violin/piano sonatas, too – the piano part.


I used to think of myself as a self-preservation subtype. I don’t follow the stereotype—for example, I don’t horde things—in fact, I try to keep my possessions to a minimum. I do have the introverted personality that seems consistent with self-preservation, however (not that all s.p.’s are introverts). I spend little time in groups and I don’t have the attention-getting mannerisms you see in many one-to-one subtypes. I can see why Mario Sikora thinks I am a social subtype, however, because of my motivation for writing my books: I wanted to spread the Enneagram starting with “The Enneagram Made Easy.” I wanted the Enneagram community to read them, but the bottom line was always “can someone who doesn’t know the Enneagram understand this?” I wanted to keep our wonderful system alive and growing so I reached outside the system to people in relationships, parents, children, music lovers, and people wanting help with their careers. I’m always hoping to draw in people who’ve never heard of the Enneagram. That’s why in “The Career Within You” Ingrid Stabb and I took the big step of hardly mentioning the word that scares some people off: “Enneagram.”


If I could leave a legacy I would set an example for everyone to think clearly and rationally, to be kind and inclusive, and to take the unconscious part of their psyche seriously. Building upon C. G. Jung’s legacy, another hero of mine, I record and draw my dreams and attend dream classes to help me work with them. Our inner worlds are not only fascinating and informative, in ways they are more real than the outer world. I would like my legacy to include a message against perpetuating hatred, racism, and imperialism and for the principles of humanity, compassion, and reason. The Enneagram can help bring people together. I would like to leave a trail of acceptance, thoughtfulness, empathy, non-violence, respect for nature, and appreciation for the arts in my wake.

– Elizabeth Wagele (to see original article Click Here)

When Children Are Pressured to be Who They Are Not

Jung believed the psyche is as physically based as our physical properties, but in his time most people believed children were blank slates to be filled in by their parents. “The Career Within You” supports Jung’s beliefs. It helps career-searchers get underneath to who they really are in order to approach their life’s work from an integrated place. It helps you match up your career and your true self. If this doesn’t occur, look at the cartoon of what might happen! Oh no!

Too many times people are pressured to follow a career the family or a teacher chose for them that was not based on their real desires and gifts. Too often in these difficult financial times people grab a job that has nothing to do with their lives, when taking a little more time to investigate themselves could lead to a much more fulfilling career. Please take that extra time to get to know who you are and what you want.

This cartoon is on page 28 of my book, “The Happy Introvert.”