16 January 2007

How to Handle Criticism In an Interview

Being criticised is something we all do as humans, though there is nothing wrong with this per se, it is how you do it that’s important. In Bob Burg’s amazing book ”Wining Without Intimidation” he says: “kiss ‘em before you kick ‘em” if only all managers use this technique they would get far greater results from their workers.

The problem with being criticised is that it can create some of the worst feelings any human can have as it strikes out the core of your confidence. And so you need to prepare for this and be able to deal with whatever is put your way.

People in positions of power often like to feel important and exercise that power often against another person’s well being. Now, any descent manager or wise person will realise you gain nothing from putting people down, in life you receive according to what you give and most ‘big’ people realise this.

But in an interview situation where you can be subjected to the most intensive of questions, and i know from personal experience, you need to understand why the interviewer may follow this path. More often it is to test your resolve under pressure, especially if the job you are applying for will demand that you are able to cope with a heavy workload, responsibility and meet set deadlines.

So with this in mind, you need to become like an ‘actor’ and put on your best performance, remembering that you are just playing a scene of a ‘pressure environment’, and it is not you personally that the criticism is aimed. Just like an actor who might be playing a scene, its temporary and the focus is on the end-result of producing the best performance. Having this mindset can help you too in dealing with difficult questions that get thrown at you.

Furthermore, remember most employers of any significant clout will not be too borthered about your failures if you can show that you have learned from the experience. History has shown you do not need to be a brain surgeon to succeed in life. Just check the background of some of the people on the world’s richest list. Employers want to know whether you have learnt from your mistakes, whether you are a soft cookie, remember success is about 90% people skills and 10% technical.

So focus on the positives and you will be able to handle any tough interview question.

Femi Yusoof


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At 12:14 PM, Blogger femi yusoof said...

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