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:
- Court everyone on the interview list, but please do not stalk! Learn as much as possible about the people you will be speaking with. The more familiar you are with them, the quicker you will revert to your natural style.
- Be prepared to tell stories to answer any question they may ask. “Let me tell you about the time when…” If you have your stories down cold, you can tell them with authenticity and be your natural self.
- Be prepared mentally by following these three steps for walking into your interview with confidence. If you walk into this situation feeling good about yourself, your confidence will exude from every pore in your body.
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.
Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers