This article was last updated on April 16, 2017
Nothing’s worse than failing at an interview due to a bad day or personality trait that didn’t sit right with the interviewer. Hardship and taking ownership of a difficult situation reveal resilience and gumption, but certain characteristics cast you in a bad light. No one is perfect, but positive traits lead to more successful interviews than negative traits.
There are many types of personalities in this world, and it’s challenging to classify all the nuts and bolts of who an individual is. Personality traits are based on your attitude, actions, and behaviors, and positive personality traits are developed from negative ones when you learn from mistakes and offer accountability.
What are Positive and Negative Personality Traits Exactly?
Any personality trait has the possibility to be positive or negative, though some are thought of as strictly positive or negative. Think of positive and negative traits, rather, as subfactors of processing emotion over time.
Society has impressions about how positive and negative traits are generally defined. Examples of positive characteristics include intelligence, optimism, observance, dependability, encouragement, and fairness. Negative traits are typically seen as laziness, distance, sarcasm, sneakiness, rudeness, bossiness, vulgarity and being inconsiderate.
Ask yourself: Does the quality positively or negatively affect others and myself? Being cheerful is often considered a positive trait. However, if someone is going through a hard time, and you say, “Let it go,” they’ll think you’re emotionally dismissive. People perceive being angry and confrontational as a negative trait, but it’s a positive trait when anger is used constructively — talking versus yelling. A negative trait may be turned around through empathy.
It’s really about balance. This comes down to questions of what makes you (and others) happy or sad, and respecting that. Occasionally, excess emotional reactions or actions may be the result of an addictive personality, and treatment should be sought to help overcome the source of the addiction. If an excess of emotion becomes a negative trait, then personal accountability is important to rectify any imbalance or hurt resulting from it.
Positive Traits Have Beneficial Effects in Everyday Life
Building upon positive traits and challenging negative traits have beneficial effects in your everyday life. Developing positive personality traits will make your life feel more full, especially since expressions of positive emotions are more infectious to others than negative emotions:
- Being optimistic and letting yourself laugh reduces your stress levels and makes others laugh, too.
- Openness is your ability to appreciate a variety of experiences outside of your own experience range. By being open, you show acceptance to the flow of what it is to be human, inviting new learning opportunities into your life. You accept yourself and take in lessons learned in life important to your growth.
- Empathy empowers through understanding: It builds stronger relationships, boosts relationship satisfaction, reduces inequality and encourages others to speak up.
- Express gratitude in your daily life multitude of benefits. Grateful people have a higher life expectancy and improved physical and psychological health. Grateful people have better self-esteem and sleep quality.
Positive Traits Improve Candidacy in Any Job Interview
Advantageous personality traits differ for every job and life situation. Some people are more outgoing than others, who are very conscientious. No matter if you’re extroverted, introverted or an ambivert, everyone experiences self-doubt, which affects your ability to interview well.
Negative self-talk could devalue your own worth as a candidate. So, you won’t talk yourself up in interviews. You miss an opportunity to show how much you believe in your own capability and accomplishments and to express how excited you’d be to work with the company as their employee.
Employers are looking for the right personality fit to go with the right mix of experiences. Most of those positive traits include someone who is hardworking, dependable, positive, self-motivated, team-oriented, organized, effectively communicates and works well under pressure.
Positive qualities improve your candidacy for any job interview. Try to think of your negative traits in a positive light, and reflect on how you have learned from past experiences. Cautious people are a great counter-balance to people who will take more risks. Companies need people who will focus on stability and fairness, too. Being team-oriented is a great personality trait, but independent-thinkers are also a positive business asset.
The truth is that personality traits are hard to represent on paper. Listing that you are a team-builder, dependable or an independent and strategic thinker isn’t enough. The experiences you share during your interview will be vital to a successful interview. You need to provide concrete evidence of how you handled a situation, which may have also challenged your character. Describe how you were present, empathetic, led and felt transformed by the experience.
Learn to Develop Positive Personality Traits
Learning from your experiences is part of developing positive personality traits. Negative traits result from experiences of using negativity to confront negativity and avoiding challenging situations. Don’t let negative coping mechanisms learned from the past become negative traits. When you are avoidant in facing situations, offering accountability and feeling the emotional depth, negativity wins and sticks around as a part of your character.
Be observant of how you interact with others, react without thinking to circumstances and respond to stress. Don’t judge your actions or behavior initially, but do your best to recall or write down instances where traits were perceived in a negative light. Has this instance repeated several times? What would you do now to improve the situation? Be honest with yourself about your positive and negative personality traits.
Learn to cultivate positive personality traits by gauging your emotional, mental and physical reactions to: Does this make me feel good or bad? Why? Be respectful of others “happy” and “sad” spectrums, too. Remember, you have to help keep the balance.
Invite a positive attitude into your life in little moments, at first. Attitude comes from within you, and while you can’t control circumstances or another’s reaction, you control your own. You decide how to interpret events. So, remember to take a step back and give space to what’s happening. Go into situations expecting joy, enthusiasm, and happiness, and let your smile reflect that to the world.
Limit the negativity around you. While positive emotions are more contagious than negative ones, negativity is also emotionally mirrored between people. Avoid angry or violent news and television shows. Stay out of drama, and ignore complainers and whisperers. When faced with negativity, use neutral word choices. Introduce a more positive vocabulary into your life, especially when people ask you “How are you?”
How to Stay Positive During The Interview Process
The interview process is long and daunting for all parties involved. The interviewer is waiting to hear back from the employer, and the employer is scouring through hundreds or thousands of applications. Eventually, you do an interview by phone and then in person.
Stay positive and surround yourself with what brings you joy. Keep a list or Pinterest board of quotes about change to keep you inspired. Take time away from the interview process to breathe, eat, create and sleep. Seek support from friends, family and professionals on a similar career path.
Practice answering common interview questions before the interview. This will help you smoothly address them at the actual meeting. Practice active listening, and listen to respond thoughtfully, without jumping to conclusions about what you think the interviewer expects.
During the interview, being in the “hot seat” will likely bring up all sorts of anxiety. You’ll feel like your mind is blank, but believe in yourself and stay positive. Dress to impress in clothes that also make you feel confident and comfortable. Sit up with good posture, but remember to breathe. Interviewers want to see the authentic you, and being honest about how you have positively grown and being confident in your capabilities will show employers that!
The interview process disheartens and frustrates many people during the job search. Don’t carry that negative energy into the interview, because positive traits and perspectives do lead to successful.
Developing positive personality traits are also beneficial to your daily life to help manage stress, build stronger relationships and lead a more fulfilling life. You will shine in every aspect, and your authentic self will inspire others to see the bright side.