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Assessin learning type while recruiting

Types of Learning Styles and their significance

The manner in which information is taken in and processed by individuals can vary greatly. While some individuals may be able to listen to a long lecture and process the information with ease, others might prefer a visual presentation with pictures and charts. One person may have a strong visual learning style while another may have a strong verbal learning style. Recognizing and understanding such different types of learning styles is crucial for recruiters to consider while hiring as well as for individuals.

Why exactly is it important to understand and consider different learning styles? For recruiters, accounting for different learning types enables for more effective decision-making and is important in determining the fit of an individual for a particular position. For instance, for a position that might involve a significant amount of work with data, charts and graphic representation, a visual learner would most likely be a better fit.

From an individual standpoint, understanding your own learning style will give you a better understanding of how you learn best and develop a strategy accordingly based on which you can become more effective in the workplace. It can also be a good indicator for the jobs you could take up or avoid.

Here is a brief summary of the most commonly identified learning types and their associated characteristics:

  • Visual Learners: those who prefer to see things while learning and prefer learning through visual representations such as charts, diagrams, outlines etc. Such individuals may prefer reading instructions to listening.
    • Likely to forget names
    • Takes time to think before understanding a lecture or talk
    • Able to visualize, sometimes in great detail, the information that they are reading
    • Good at spelling and usually checks spellings by just seeing if the words look right
    • Usually shy and prefer not being the center of attention
  • Verbal Learners: those who prefer written and spoken word and learn best through hearing and listening. Such individuals may find it easier to listen to instructions rather than reading them.
    • Likes to read out loud and prefers oral reports
    • Good at conversations and explaining things
    • Follows spoken directions well
    • Likely to remember names and details of a conversation from the past
  • Kinesthetic or Tactile Learners: those who prefer to experience or do things and learn best through physical movement. Such individuals learn better if they are involved in some kind of physical activity themselves, such as touching, drawing or moving around.
    • Enjoys taking things apart and putting them together again
    • May not be able to sit still for a very long time
    • Quick at learning physical moves and good at sports
    • Prefers active options like going to a lab or role-playing

While some individuals may be on extreme ends of a certain learning type, it should be noted that this is not the case with everyone. Some may be a very strong visual learner, while others may be a blend of learning styles. Additionally, these are simply different modes of learning and by no means is one style superior to the other. In fact, one could practice strategies to adopt a different learning style if they so choose. Ultimately, what is of importance is to recognize and understand that people learn differently.


Kesang Chungyalpa

Kesang Chungyalpa received her B.A. in International Relations from the College of Wooster in the U.S.While studying there, she examined the role of self-help groups on local food security for her senior thesis. With a passion for international development, Kesang's professional experience includes working with various organizations, including the United Nations, Pact and Bhutan Foundation in Washington D.C. and the Deshpande Foundation in Karnataka.