I WAS HAVING A DRINK with a friend of mine the other day and she was asking advice on what to say in a follow up job interview the next day. She had already received guidance from her husband and another Western friend of hers. When she told me what they recommended that she say, I could have screamed!
‘Ask the boss what will happen if you do not satisfy their probation criteria’ was the husbands suggestion.
‘Make sure to check the annual leave allocation and expected work hours’ stated her other Western ‘guru’.
Allow me a sentence or two to translate what my friend’s boss would have heard had she actually asked these questions.
Sentence one, ‘What will happen if I do not satisfy your probation criteria?’ would have reached the new potential employer’s ears as either ‘I do not think I can be the employee that you want!’ or more simply ‘I am going to fail your tests!’ Neither of these phrases is likely to see you leaping up the corporate ladder.
Whilst the first suggested question would tell the interviewer that my friend thought she was not good enough, the second one, ‘what is the annual leave allocation and expected work hours’ would announce ‘I am most interested in when I DON’T have to work’. Again, a useful sentence for those people who prefer not to pass interviews.
Positivity means you focus on what you can do rather than what you might not be able to do. You are not bad at something, but rather you want to improve. ‘I want to improve my English’ sounds so much better than ‘My English is very bad’.
Fortunately, after our chat my friend approached the interview armed with a more positive attitude. She asked the interviewer about her personal development within the company. They talked about career paths. This demonstrated both ambition and a plan to stay with the company long-term. These are both music to the ears of an employer.
When introduced to other members of staff, my friend said she was looking forward to working with them. This showed confidence and was far better than saying ‘I think I can learn a lot from you’ or the similar ‘I hope you can teach me a lot’. Let us not forget for a second that employers offer you a job based on the benefits you bring to their company. Nobody offers you a job so that they can further your education.
As I write this blog my friend has already taken a position at this new company. Her positive attitude, confidence and readiness to take on new challenges (rather than ‘have difficulties’) has already endeared her to her new colleagues.
In short, her future is looking very POSITIVE!