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10 Signs You Care Too Much About How Others See You

10 Signs You Care Too Much About How Others See You

If you’re even a half-way decent human being, you undoubtedly care what others think about you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to project a good self-image to the world, but when you become preoccupied with what others think of you, you distort your own image of yourself. The only person who should be able to define yourself is you. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, you should think about changing up your mindset before you stop living for yourself, and end up living for everyone else.

1. You evaluate yourself through other people’s eyes

At the end of a hard day’s work, you should be able to reflect on your efforts, accomplishments, and shortcomings. However, you should only think about these things in relation to how you performed the previous day. Don’t worry about how others may have judged you throughout the day. For one thing, they most likely didn’t take any of their time to evaluate you. Secondly, doing so will make you paranoid that people are always judging you, and your performance will ultimately suffer.

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2. You give others’ behavior too much meaning

If you’re socially anxious, you probably spend a lot of time wondering “What did he mean when he gave that compliment?” or “Was he being sarcastic when he said I did a good job back there?” That’s fairly natural, and it takes work to get over it. However, it must be done if you want to truly feel success. Worrying about what others may or may not have been thinking simply wastes time that could have been spent improving your life in some way.

3. You let feedback stop you

I struggled with this for a while, especially when I started writing for the vast Internet audience. Don’t let criticism stop you from trying. People would only offer feedback if they saw talent in you that they knew could be unleashed with some tweaks. Rather than shutting down when someone offers criticism of your work, listen to what they have to say. Keep their words in mind the next time you start a task, and focus on that specific area in order to improve your overall performance.

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4. You’re preoccupied with always saying the right things

Nobody wants to appear socially awkward. Ironically, the people who are most preoccupied with not looking silly in their interactions are the ones who are obsessed with trying not to look silly. Everyone’s said “You too!” to their waiter when he said “Enjoy your meal!” and realized how ridiculous they sounded afterwards. Don’t let that kind of gaffe stick with you. Do you really think the waiter is going to the back room and telling his colleagues “Ha! The guy at table 2 said ‘You too’ when I told him to enjoy his meal! What a loser!” Seriously, nobody has time for that. And you’re not the first person to do it. Just let your interactions with others flow, and you won’t be so intimidated by everyday interactions.

5. You try to please everyone

Those who care too much about what others think will spend way too much time trying to please everyone. The problem with this is when you do something for one person, and then another, and another, you’ll start a chain of events in which you’re looking out for everyone else’s well-being at the expense of your own health. I’m not saying you should be completely selfish throughout your life, but you need to know when you’re burning yourself out because you’ve spent too much time worrying about other people.

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6. You don’t put yourself first

This goes along with the last point. If you’re constantly trying to please everyone, you won’t spend enough time on yourself. When others thank you for your help, you often say it was “no big deal,” even if it was exhausting work that set you back on completing your own obligations. When you don’t put yourself first, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that everyone else matters more than you do. That’s simply not true. Put other people’s needs to the side, and enjoy some “me” time for once.

7. You have a hard time saying “no”

If you’re eager to please everyone all the time, you’ll end up taking on much more than you’re capable of doing. Most people want to prove themselves, especially in a new job in which their hard work can lead to a promotion. But if you take on too much, your work will suffer. Which will impress your boss more: Taking on so many responsibilities that you’re up all night every day during the week and have to call in sick on Friday, or taking on a few tasks at a time and completing them exactly as needed? Sometimes, saying “no” can do much more for your career than you’d imagine.

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8. You don’t give yourself enough credit

You most likely have one or two interests for which you are incredibly passionate, and you consider yourself an expert in these areas. However, when in a group of people, you tend to downplay these strengths, and act self-conscious about the knowledge you have about these subjects. You might be intimidated by other specialists, and would rather listen than take the chance of sounding stupid. But the worst that can happen is you’ll get feedback from others, which, as we discussed before, can be used to better yourself in the future. Put yourself out there, and you’ll be surprised by how far it takes you.

9. You feel ashamed about your hobbies

Along with the last point, you often degrade yourself when talking about the things you’re really interested in. I write for a video game-related website, and love doing it. I’d never be able to do that if I had a problem with people considering me a “video game nerd.” Why should I care what others think of my hobbies? They’re mine to enjoy. Honestly, it took me a long time to get over the idea that I don’t have to be interested in what’s “cool” or “in.” Now, I use my expertise to report news and discuss current events about an industry that actually interests me, and I enjoy every minute of it.

10. You’re trapped in an unfulfilled life

If you’re always worried about what others think, you end up letting them dictate how you live your life. You’ll give up hobbies that others think are “stupid,” and you’ll end up spending all your time running some errand for other people who, in the long run, don’t matter in your life. When your life becomes a repetitive grind, and there’s no difference between Monday and Friday, you need to step back and take some time to figure out what you want out of life, regardless of what others think you should want.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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