During an interview, a candidate is usually “drilled” with multiple questions! Questions that involve your responsibilities in your current work place, your previous employment(s) and HR questions including “positive” questions (your strengths, learning’s and wins etc) as well as your “negative” questions (What are you weaknesses, have you worked with difficult people etc).
All in all a candidate is being asked these questions so that their potential employer can get a reasonably solid understanding of the candidates abilities, in a very short space of time!
But have you ever wondered how these questions could also relate to our life in general? As in…the interview tips and techniques can potentially assist us in our personal (non-work) day to day lives?
Let’s break this down! Usually we need to always consider the following:
When you dress to impress and arrive before time, it leaves a great impression. It’s always advised that during the interview to have a positive body language - stay engaged in the conversation and avoid looking around in the room, being upbeat, focused, confident, maintain eye-contact and smile. Be well prepared for the interview and expect to receive “positive” as well as “negative” questions – some questions being unexpected! Finally – feel free to ask questions.
In our early years as a child, when we start going to school we learn exactly the above from our teachers and parents/guardians– though it looks and sounds different. In most cases we usually wear school uniforms (or dress appropriately to attend School) and we always aim to arrive before the classes start. We’ve always been advised by our parents/guardians to concentrate in class, ask questions and be focused and engaged etc. As we get slightly older, the playground teaches most of us a lot of things…both expected and unexpected, and during test/exam times, we prepare as much as we can, but then we also learn as time goes on to expect the unexpected questions, and to be able to think on the spot…almost as if it’s preparing us for our future!
As we get older and continue our lives, depending on our environment/friends, naturally changes occur in our behavior. Generally most of us continue with this discipline…which then extends out to other parts of our lifestyle including attending personal functions, family/friend gatherings, a parties, ceremonies etc.
So – where is the article going…what is it trying to highlight!
Answer – Upon reflection, you will notice that the experiences gained in the past from either our personal or work/business life are actually inter-connected with each other!
Like always, the “positive” related questions always feel easier to answer (and to give examples to) then the “negative” questions which always seem tricky! However, these so called “negative” questions are really just asking you what areas you need to improve on…correct? So, shouldn’t you know what areas you need to improve on?
Below is a good simple video that talks about and gives example on how to answer these “negative” questions
Like the video states, if you don’t know your weakness, you don’t know your strengths! No one is perfect, and life is all about learning. Through self-reflection/analysis, once you know the areas that you need to improve on (and if you genuinely want to improve on them) you will take the relevant steps and actions.
Highlighting areas that you want to improve on, as well as articulating the steps/actions you are taking to help yourself, definitely leaves a positive impression! The video also states that when answering the negative questions it’s best to be truthful and authentic. Be genuine!
Being positive and therefore confident with the above, even when you receive unexpected questions during the interview –naturally you handle them well.
Therefore – have an open mind and be ready for anything that comes your way…(sound familiar?)Though these are interview tips, they are relevant to our day to day personal lives. If you reflect now on your personal life – is there something that you need to improve on and if so – what are you doing to improve it? What actions are you taking?
Once you know your weaknesses, you will also know your strengths – enabling you to be a more positive, confident person – both in your professional life, as well as your personal!
What seems to be an obstacle could well be an opportunity for you!
Hence the take home message here is – whether it’s work or personal – interview or non interview – everything is a learning experience and it’s all about turning the negative into a positive – no matter the situation! No ones perfect – it’s a life-long learning and self-improving journey.
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