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What Is Personality?

In general parlance, personality depicts the outward appearance of a person. When we see a well-dressed man, the general remark we ­often hear is, “He has a good personality.” This is a very superficial and ­incomplete meaning of the word “personality”. Personality is not confined to possessing a well-built physique or wearing fine clothes. There is a lot more to personality than merely possessing physical attributes such as good looks, a handsome appearance and a good physique.
Prof. G. W. Allport defined the term personality as having the following qualities: “Pattern of habits, attitudes, traits that determine one’s adjustment to one’s environments.”
From a sociological point of view, which is assumed in all interviews to test the personality of candidates for recruitment, Robert E. Park and Earnest W. Burgess have defined personality as, “the sum and organization of those traits which determine the role of an individual in a group.” To sum up, we can say that “personality” includes not only the physical attributes but also psychological traits, such as attitudes, adaptability, motivation, perseverance, response to problems, etc. Personality is, therefore, the total impression of one’s mental, physical and intellectual make-up on a panel of interviewers or another human being, as the case may be. It is, however, influenced by the following factors:
  • General physique
  • Heredity
  • General appearance
  • Culture
  • Experience
  • Education and training
The first two factors are not controllable and you cannot improve upon them. However, the last four factors are controllable and can be improved upon to project an above-average personality. Remember, the maxim of all educationists is, “We learn by doing.” This is very true as far as the development of personality is concerned.
How does one improve the controllable factors of one’s personality? How does one set about achieving an extraordinary and above-average personality? How does one minimize one’s weaknesses and maximize one’s strengths? These are some of the questions that have been answered in the following sections of this book along with illustrations, useful hints and suggestions.
Fact or Myth?

MYTH: You cannot prepare for an interview, as you will never know what they are going to ask.
FACT: One can definitely prepare for an interview. There are some general expected questions, which can be rehearsed so that you make a good impression. For technical questions—you can research well in advance and find suitable answers. In addition, by learning mannerism and good etiquettes, you can win the interviews.

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