Negative Nancy’s rarely get the job!

06 Feb 2013 | Naomi Marshall

As a recruiter I have met HUNDREDS of people!!! While everyone is different i.e. different skills, appearances and backgrounds, what do you think is the one quality that makes a candidate stand out from the masses???…………………………..POSITIVITY!!!

As an interviewer, no matter if you are an agency recruiter or an internal hiring manager, the most frustrating interviews are held with those that have a negative view on life. The ability to turn negatives into positives is a rare skill, but something that I think everybody should strive towards!

When I ask “Why did you leave your last job”? I am really not looking for any of the following answers;

  1. “My boss was really negative all the time, and I didn’t like him/her”
  2. “I had no friends in the company”
  3. “I haven’t been promoted”

While these things may be true, sometimes it’s all in the delivery of the answer that can make or break your chances at interview. Therefore before you answer, put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes. What are they likely to think of the above answers?

  1. Why was the manager negative towards this candidate? Was it because they were a poor performer?
  2. Why did she have no friends? Concerning.
  3. Were they not promoted because they were a poor performer?

Even if the last company you worked for was the worst company on the face of the earth, it is important to explain to the interviewer the positives that you got out of working there. Honestly, try to avoid even mentioning the negatives if you can help it because when you leave an interview, you want that interviewer to think positive things about you and your experience. You want them to be excited about the possibility of offering you (or helping you to find) a job. I can guarantee you that if you make even one negative comment without turning it into a positive; you will be remembered by the negative -even if you gave 10 other very positive answers.

You don’t want to be remembered as the candidate “that hated their boss”, you want to be the candidate that “was so positive and engaging that I want to hire him/her!”

You may think that you can rely on your skills and experience to get you over the line… however I cannot even count the number of times that I have chosen to put a person forward to a client with a positive, friendly attitude that is lacking the right experience, OVER that negative Nancy with the perfect resume!

Some food for thought…


Share this post:

We want to hear from you!