Do you have a Growth Mindset?

growth midset, personal development, career progression...


Do you have a Growth Mindset?

I was recently at my daughter’s school and noticed some posters on the wall and realised that children through the ages of 4 to 11 were being taught how to behave with a growth mindset in their everyday lives. It got me to thinking; how often do us 'grown-ups' actively demonstrate these behaviours in our day-to-day working and personal lives?

The posters listed behaviours such as:

  • Give yourself time to think
  • Concentrate on your work
  • Use books and computers to find answers
  • Try your best!
  • Join in with class discussions
  • Keep trying, even if it’s difficult
  • Have a positive attitude – “I can do this!”
  • Listen carefully
  • Ask questions
  • Do your homework
  • Don’t worry about getting it wrong – have another go!
  • Share your knowledge with other people
  • If you are stuck, ask someone

As a recruiter who has worked within industry for 20 years, I can tell you now that these behaviours are absolutely critical for your success. If you're adapting, learning, taking on board feedback (positively) and actively working with your peers and mentors to develop then you will fly. The difference in people who practise these behaviours and those who don't are obvious at interview.

So, I want to break down each of the behaviours a little more and explore their attributes in relation to the interview / recruitment process.

Give yourself time to think: so often in the corporate world answers will be demanded of you and it's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to give the first answer that springs to mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you don't know and asking for time to think on it and respond when you have a clear cut, rational answer. This actually applies at interview also. If you are faced with a challenging question, don't be afraid to ask for some time to think about it and respond later in the interview - I can guarantee your answer will be better.

Concentrate on your work: it sounds so obvious, but also so easy to forget. Don't get complacent. Be present at interview and concentrate on what is being asked of you, you never know what you might miss.

Use books and computers to find answers: please do your research! In today's world we have all the answers in the world at our fingertips, but so many people turn up to interview without having used it. I will never forget candidates turning up to interview at BG Group (an oil and gas company where I worked as Recruitment Manager) and told me how excited they were to be interviewing with BT. When researching the company, don't just look at the front page. Read the annual report, investigate recent news articles, think about how recent events would impact your new role and talk to that.

Try your best: put aside all your inhibitions and just throw yourself into it. Everyone is nervous at interview, sometimes even the interviewers, but if you try your best you will never be disappointed with your performance.

Join in with class discussions: talk to your network, get their view on the company and people you are interviewing with. They may have more insight than you think. 

Keep trying, even if it's difficult: interviews don't always have the outcome we want, but I do firmly believe everything happens for a reason. As long as you learn from each interview experience, you will succeed in the end. Reach out to your recruiter and ensure you get proper feedback from the hiring manager and pro-actively ask for the negative aspects so you can work on these. 

Have a positive attitude: this is so crucial, not only because of how you'll be perceived at interview, but also for your own mindset and getting the new position you deserve.

Listen carefully: I can't stress how crucial this is at interview. A lot of the time you will be asked a competency / behavioural question that will require you to think of the Consequence, Action and Result of a certain action you took in a previous role. Stay on track and be concise to what was specifically asked within the question. Fjord are happy to provide interview training support, get in touch to find out more.

Ask questions: do not be afraid to come armed with a list of sensible questions; have them written down. It shows you actually care about the role you have applied for and a depth of understanding about the role and the business.

Do your homework: this ties in nicely with using books and computers and joining in with class discussions. Network, question, research and write notes!

Don't worry about getting it wrong - have another go: If you feel you've not answered a question well, tell your interviewers and ask if you can revert back. If time is limited then send a follow-up email and give a better, constructive response. There's absolutely nothing wrong with trying to get it right.

Share your knowledge with other people: what is your selling point? What can you bring to the role? Really read through the job description and think about what your USP is in relation to the role you are interviewing for and share this knowledge. This will really set you apart from other candidates.

If you are stuck, ask someone: don't be afraid to say you don't understand the question and require a further explanation. It's better to really understand and answer correctly, than go off on a tangent and do yourself a dis-service.

Fjord provide our candidates and clients with a full range of interview assessment techniques. Please do reach out to us for an informal discussion as to how we can help you.

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