Toxic Workplaces: How to Stay Positive
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Keeping a positive mindset in a toxic work environment can be an extremely difficult task. I've spent some time in toxic work places and motivating workplaces and there is a vast difference between employee moral …

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Interviewing with a Positive Attitute

Submitted by on Thursday, 13 May 2010No Comment
Interviewing with a Positive Attitute

Interviews can often be nerve racking and downright intimidating especially with those poker faced interviewers. The funny thing about interviews is they can leave a lasting impression good or bad but speak very little to your actual capabilities. For example you can have an exceptional talker who gets the jobs but when it comes down to performing they just don’t have what it takes and on the converse side a person who doesn’t interview well but can perform on the job. Interviews are very subjective and each interviewer is looking for something specific making them highly subjective. So if you really don’t know what to expect, then just be yourself and try not to be someone out of character. I’ve conducted and done several interviews in my career to differentiate the candid responses from the genuine responses. In fact an interview will have more respect and take you more seriously if you just be yourself. I’ll tell you a quick story then get into the tips. I remember interviewing at a national retailer a few years back and I was nervous. He asked me all sorts of questions and I tried to respond to everything with some form of answer that related to my experience and in some cases really stretched the truth. I should have known that a guy early in his career can’t possibly know all that in a short period of time. I didn’t get the job probably because I claimed to know everything. Over the years I began to relate my job to my past experience without stretching the truth beyond belief. In fact I interviewed for a job and the interviewer asked me if I had experience in several areas and I just said no but followed up by saying I can learn. I really presented a can-do attitude and he really liked that. I didn’t get that job but got a call back about a month later for a job similar in seniority, pay and level in the organization only because he appreciated the truth. The point is nobody really knows everything about everything so being yourself and being honest is the best attitude for any interview. So over the years i’ve learned a few helping points when interviewing that might not get you that job but will definitely keep you among to top of the list for another suitable position. Here are my 10 tips to successful interviewing.

Tip 1: As mentioned above, always be honest. Don’t try to pull pseudo experience from nowhere and claim to know it all. Recruiters can judge from your reaction to certain questions and determine how truthful you are.

Tip 2: Always answer their question with a specific example followed up by a specific achievement. One thing that interviewers like to see is not only what you did but the result of the project. They want to ensure that you can live up to the challenge and commitments agreed to at the start of the project.

Tip 3: Try to relate your answers across different experience and not only one job. Often times i’ll have interviewees who relate everything to their current or previous job. Talk about jobs previous to that or educational experiences.

Tip 4: Diversify yourself and be flexible. In today’s changing environment employers want somebody who is dynamic, flexible and adaptable to their people and business. Emphasis your willingness to be flexible and adaptable.

Tip 5: Follow up every negative with a positive. For example if you don’t have a particular skill set mention anything that can show initiative . For myself I answered this by stating that I faced a similar challenge with your previous role and overcame it through fast self training. Always show you are willing to learn and put in your all.

Tip 6: When an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself avoid mentioning that you walk your dog or often visit your parents. Keep your response professional and something meaningful. Walk through your professional background relating to the role you are being interviewed for and follow up with one or two personal traits such as you enjoy golf or working out. Employers like to see you have a life outside the work world but don’t go into detail.

Tip 7: If the interviewer asks you if you have any question do not say no. Always have a question or two prepared for the interviewer such as “What are the expectations within the first 6 months for this position” or “what do you see this role developing into”. Interviewers like to see that you are focussed on long-term career growth as well.

Tip 8: Do not discuss salary unless the interviewer brings it up. The last thing you want to interviewer to think is you are more in it for the money than the role

Tip 9: Always get the interviewers business card or email and follow up with that thank you email within 24 hours of the interview. In the email reiterate your desire for the role, at most 3 reasons why you would be an exceptional candidate and emphasis you are looking forward to next steps.

Tip 10: Do not hassle the interviewers for a response. Their time is precious and in fairness are interviewing others as well. If the role is right for you they will get back to you. Keep calm and composed throughout the process and you should be just fine.

The 10 tips are great to know and execute on when searching for an interview. But the main ingredient that must be present for any of those 10 tips to work is confidence and positivity. Remember the interviewer picked you to interview because they feel you deserve the chance and have the qualifications for the role. Its your job to remain positive and show them that not only do you have the qualfifications but you are infact the right candidate for the job.

Good luck

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