November 21, 2022

John Foster

Why is a positive attitude important in an interview?

You need a job, you want a job, but it feels like all you do is go on one interview after another and you still haven’t been hired.  What are you doing wrong? You have read all the tips about tricky interview questions, you’ve taken note of how to maximize your resumé.  Yes, that must have worked because you are now at the interview stage, so why can you not go that step further and actually snag that job!

The answer may be a negative attitude.  If you have had a few let downs, or many let downs and no job proposals, then negativity can affect your attitude, even if you don’t know it.  Hiring managers are very aware of a job seekers’ attitude as this will directly influence whether you will be a good fit for the company or not.  Why would you be considered for the job if you are not enthusiastic about the position?  Slouching in your chair and not making eye contact will leave a bad impression and you will easily be overlooked for the position no matter how good your resumé is.

How do you control your negative attitude, if you don’t even know you have one? If any of these comments ring a bell, then you are indeed negative and you need some help in adjusting your attitude.

• Does going to another interview feel like a bore?

• Why should I prepare for another interview?

• I don’t care if I’m late for my interview.

• Doing research on a company?  Not again!

•  I don’t care how I look.  Why should I care if I am not dressed professionally?

• Oh no, another interview, I’m just going to be let down again…

You have already lost interest in the interview process and that will be evident to the hiring managers.  Here are a few pointers to help you keep a positive attitude:

You are in Control

You may know the expression “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.  Recognize the fact that there are things in your life that you can change, and your attitude is one of those.

In order to impress the hiring manager, it is important to keep a positive attitude throughout the interview process.  Your positivity will make you more likable to the interviewer, which will give you a greater chance of getting the job.

Show you are a Good Fit for the Company

Fitting in with the company culture is very important to hiring managers and a positive attitude goes a long way in demonstrating that you would be a good fit for the company. Nobody wants to work alongside someone with a displeasing personality and who will bring down the morale of employees. Be seen as someone who can add value to the company.

Your well-written resumé undoubtedly helped you get the interview during your job search but if your attitude and body language during the interview shows that you are not enthusiastic about the position, you may as well have stayed at home.  You will be overlooked for the position by another candidate who demonstrates enthusiasm and is keen to join the company.

Answering Interview Questions

You may be asked about past failures.  Making excuses and blaming others will only shed a bad light on yourself.  Rather, turn the experiences around and show how you learnt positive lessons from them.  By not blaming others, you show that you are a team player and will help you stand out from other candidates. Criticizing your previous employer will damage your reputation, no one wants an employee who is known to speak badly about them or their company.

How you solved the problem is what they want to ascertain. Use the opportunity to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Don’t let a past failure impede your opportunity for success.

Be Conscious of your Body Language

Body language can reveal information to an interviewer about your attitude toward the job.  Here are a few things to be aware of during an interview:

• Eye contact generally shows comfort and confidence as well as showing enthusiasm.

• Facial expressions can let an interviewer see your interest in a job.

• Gestures can show that you are a confident speaker, while excessive hand motions may be perceived as erratic or unprofessional.

• Posture can indicate your interest in a job. You will likely put in the effort to sit up straight with an open posture that faces the interviewer.

• Nervous fidgeting such as playing with your hair or picking at your fingers, may show a lack of confidence or social unawareness.

Lastly, make sure you dress professionally for the interview but at the same time try to relax and be yourself.  Draw on your past positive experiences because that will give you the much-needed positive confidence.