The goal of this story is to prepare to hold onto your patience during interviews!
We all know about the famous saying “Silence is golden”. But when it comes to an interview it’s the “Patience” that is golden!
And patience in this context means staying calm under pressure.
Dance, sing, run or do some yoga, but learn to be patient!
Patience is one of the key factors directly affecting the decision making in many interviews and the good news is that this is one of the things for which you don’t have to do much. Just be patient, that’s it. The reason is very simple that people love people with patience. It reflects maturity and a willingness to listen to others.
Some interviews have parts specially designed to test your patience and at times interviewers may try to judge your patience by putting you into a situation where getting irritated and impatient is very easy. Other times when even if an interviewer is not specifically checking your patience, but even a slight trace of impatience in your behavior may result in your rejection.
The fact is that learning to be patient is one of those “Easy to say but hard to do things”. As we grow older and gain more experience we tend to get more opinionated and there is more likelihood of thinking or knowledge clash in any interview, specifically if the interviewer is younger than you.
The normal thought process is that you think you have a better understanding of things in general just by the virtue of you having more experience than your interviewer. In such scenarios, the normal reaction is to let it go in the beginning but soon enough when things stretch beyond your elasticity, you start showing signs of disagreements with a tint of irritation. And here you go out of the door.
The right way to handle this situation is to counter your natural reaction and remain patient. Listen more carefully to what the interviewer is saying. Remember that an interview is a full duplex communication, and discussions and disagreements are perfectly acceptable, as long as they are presented gracefully without hitting the ego of the interviewer. Everybody likes to get to know new perspectives about things. So even if you disagree with an interviewer on certain terms, don’t just disagree. Rather be polite and present your views on the terms with proper justifications and be ready to get no for an answer and move on. You can only present your views and that’s exactly what you should do but don’t get hooked onto this as a deal breaker in case your views are rejected.
Key is to learn to be patient, no matter what!
While you may be tricked into a situation that was designed to test your patience, there are times where the interviewers take a direct approach by asking questions related to patience. Here I’m listing some of these questions and how you should tackle them to come out a winner.
Are you a patient person?
One question you may be asked is that are you a patient person or how patient are you, and you should handle this in a very affirmative manner and support this with some convincing examples where you handled situations with patience.
How you manage to be patient?
Another related question you may be asked is that how you manage to be patient under stressful situations, and the best way to tackle this is by appearing to have a very calm personality. Other things you can say to back this up is that you have a disciplined life style with healthy and life enhancing hobbies such as reading, some sports etc., which have made you a patient person.
Situations when your patience was tested
You may be asked about any example situations where your patience was tested and how you handled that. The best way to handle this situation is to have an example ready. Better if this example specifically displays your patience and positive attitude and the way you gracefully handled the situation.
What irritates you most?
Yet another question in the same category that may be thrown to you is that what people or situations irritate you most. This may seem like a simple one as you know exactly what and who annoy you most, but this is a tricky question and you should not just start opening your heart to its content. You should not target any specific individuals from your past or present. Rather you should talk about personalities in general. For example, you can say that people who do not take their work seriously and repeatedly make mistakes without learning from them are people who annoy you. And you can think of some other cases like this. The key is to be ready for this.
And last but not the least, close the loop by saying that even though some things annoy you, you are perfectly okay to work with such people if that’s what your work at hand demands.
And now let’s go through few strategies on how to master the art of patience.
Deep breaths do the magic
Take deep and slow breaths for few seconds. this has a scientific reason, as doing this helps slow your heart rate, relaxes your body, and distances you emotionally from the situation.
If your impatience level is too high, the do the breathing exercise for a longer duration and do this frequently.
Focus on relaxing your body
When you are in a state of impatience, your muscles get tensed involuntarily. So, consciously focus on relaxing your body. Again, take slow, deep breaths. Relax your muscles, from your toes up to the top of your head. Take control, it’s your own body.
Learn to control your emotions
Just remember that you have a choice in how you react in every situation. You can choose to be patient, or choose not to be. it’s all up to you. In other words, technically you are always in control of yourself. Simply believe in this fact and try to live and master this.
Its simple to say and tough to do, but ones you are convinced of this fact it’s not an impossible task.
Force yourself to slow down
Take a slow stance and make yourself speak and move more slowly. It will appear to others as if you’re calm and, by “acting” patient, you can actually “feel” more patient.
Practice active listening
Make sure you give others your full attention, and patiently plan your responses to what they say.
Remind yourself that your impatience rarely gets others to move faster – in fact, it can interfere with other people’s ability to perform complex or highly-skilled work. All you’re doing is creating more stress, which is completely unproductive.
Try to talk yourself out of your impatient frame of mind. Remind yourself how silly it is that you’re reacting this way.
If your impatience causes you to react in anger toward others, use anger management techniques.
Some people become impatient because they’re perfectionists. However, in addition to causing impatience, perfectionism can slow down productivity and increase stress. Nothing wrong in being a perfectionist, but do not let it feed your impatience as a side effect.
For now I’ll just say that people who do meditation tell me they feel better and less chaos. I’ll come back one of these days and write more about this.
Eat it up
Do not let trivial things bother you.
If something bothers you, it bothers you, it’s that simple. Sometimes trivial things bother you. Instead of worrying about these trivial things, accept them and think about how you can avoid them if they really bother you. But if they are not in your control, simply accept them. Things happen, simple!
Face tough situations with a smile
There are many situations which give you tough time. Face them with smile, and be patient while waiting for these challenging times to pass.
Learn to wait for your chance
Many times, we stand in long queues and wait for our turn, and it’s easy to get impatient. The moment you start thinking about others, your impatience will turn into good feeling.
Don’t lose patience while waiting for an interviewer
A very good example where it’s easy to lose patience is when you’re waiting for an interviewer and he does not show up for a long time. Relax you are there for the interview, so assume that this waiting is just part of that process. Good side of this is that the interviewer will have less time to interview you if he or she comes late.
The art is to be patient in all kinds of situations during an interview and be ready to talk about some convincing examples from your past where you dealt with situations with patience. Things happen, you just need to remember and practice on presenting them properly.
If you like this story, you might also like Master the Behavioral Interview Question 1 – Who is on the other side of the table?