A potential employer wants to hire people with a positive attitude. You should project this image in your demeanor, facial expressions, and most importantly in the content of your answers. You may be the strongest candidate that the interviewer has seen but you still will not get the job if you are negative and insult former bosses or co-workers.
The best way to do this is to put a positive spin on all of your answers. Many interviews
will include a question along with one of these lines:
* Have you had a challenging relationship with a co-worker or boss? Tell us about it.
* What conditions in a workplace make it hard to do your job?
* How can people tell when you are in a bad mood at work?
Really, all of these are trick questions. Yes, the interviewer really does want to know how you have handled conflict in the workplace and how you deal with a bad day at work. But, they want to see if you can explain this without talking negatively and show that you can problem solve your way out of certain situations. Even if you have a great
story to tell about you and a co-worker, unless you handled yourself as professionally as
possible and the story portrays you in a positive light do not tell it.
If an interviewer asks how co-workers or customers can tell if you are in a bad mood,
there is only one right answer, “They can’t.” You can (and should) elaborate on this, but by answering the question in this vein you are showing that you can leave personal problems and stresses outside the workplace without them affecting your job or others.
Be the kind of person that people want to hire, realistic with an attitude of getting along
with others and the ability to get a job done.
By Paul W. Abernathy, CMECP®