Glenford Smith | Don’t let your mind work against you
Question: I read your column very often and I appreciate the advice you always give in your columns. I have a question. I went to an interview and was asked whether I had experience with certain tools and methodologies, which I didn't. The interviewer's response was, "Yeah, yeah, yeah". How do you view this response? Is there anything I can say or do differently to get a better outcome?
- A Reader
Careers: Thank you for reading the Gleaner's Careers section. I'm very happy that you find the column enlightening. Your letter was edited for length.
You interpreted the interviewer's response of "yeah, yeah, yeah" to mean something negative about your answer. You take it to mean that since you don't have the experience with those tools, that he doesn't care about what you say. All he is interested in is someone with the actual experience.
You are not to do this. Don't go into an interview and use your mind against yourself. You do not know exactly what the interviewer meant by saying "yeah, yeah, yeah". Think about it for a minute. He could have meant any of a number of things with his response. You are not in his mind.
In your state of nervousness, you could be hearing some things that he is not saying. It could be just your imagination playing tricks on you in the situation. That is why it is a good idea to have a fully optimised and positive, forward-thinking mindset for your interview. That way, you see and hear everything in a positive way.
This is not delusional thinking. It is the opposite of the negative frame of mind you seem to be in. In interviewing situations such as these, the one thing you have to guard against is your negative thoughts. You can't afford the luxury of one negative thought.
You could blow your chance with one negative thought, which has another of the same kind coming after it. It is very easy to have a flood of negative thinking, one after the other. Don't let one in. counter it with its opposite.
You said that you pointed out in your response that you were a fast learner and would easily catch on to the training in using the tools. This is a very good response. There is no better answer to offer in an interview when you don't have the actual experience.
There is nothing you could say to secure a better outcome in the circumstance. Be very positive throughout, even when you think you've messed up an answer. Many candidates give one response they think is bad, and they continue down the same track. They keep thinking back on it, over and over.
It is suggested that before the actual job interview, you find a friend or a knowledgeable person to drill you as you answer this and other questions. Any practice of the likely questions is an excellent use of time. It will help you work through your nervousness and build your confidence.
All the best to you.
n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. firstname.lastname@example.org