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  • Are You Seeking Respect and Failing in Interviews

    Bad Interview photo from ShutterstockSeeking Respect in Interviews

    Are you seeking respect and backing off your usual style when you first meet someone?

    I have several new clients whose natural style is to be direct in their communication. In contrast, they have a high need for respect in their dealings with other people, as defined by their Birkman Assessment.

    In other words, the way they communicate is not how they want to be treated. Hmm… an interesting combination. This is far more common than you think. Most of us communicate in a more direct fashion than we want others to communicate with us.

    These clients, who are seeking respect, will often back off their usual style when they first meet someone. They will ask more questions and listen more to get the respect they desire.

    Does this work in an interview situation? Not necessarily!

    Have you been failing in interviews because you are not your authentic self?

    Interviewing with Unfamiliar People

    It is very common that you will interview with the hiring manager and potential future peers that you are unfamiliar with. What can you do? Try the following:

    Probing Questions

    Bring a set of probing questions with you to the interview. You want to probe for pain points. The more insightful the questions you ask, the faster you will gain the respect you want.

    We are setting ourselves up to get the respect we want as fast as possible. We want to revert to our natural communications style early in the interview. We all are human, and should seek to become comfortable with the situation as quickly as possible.

    Closing the Interview

    Be prepared with a set of questions that will help you determine whether the job is a good fit for you. Please rehearse asking these questions so that they roll off your tongue. Practice asking these questions with others and in front of a mirror. Be as natural and direct as your usual style.

    Pay Attention to You

    Do you know what is your natural style of communicating? Pay attention to how you naturally communicate. Ask your friends and colleagues (who you trust) to describe your communication style.

    The more you understand how you communicate, you will be able to identify when you are seeking respect in an interview and adjust accordingly.

    Marc MillerCareer Pivot

    Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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    Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.

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