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5 Signs You Need to Further Boost Your Curiosity

5 Signs You Need to Further Boost Your Curiosity

Imagine one day having to wake up with powers of absolute knowledge and what you could do with it. You can probably become a very powerful investor due to the knowledge you posses, or get that dream job immediately after acing the first round of interviews. With absolute knowledge, you will be able to help those in need during times of crisis and be looked up upon.

We know that absolute knowledge is impossible; however, high levels of curiosity can still help us get to where we want to be in life. Take a step back today and ask yourself whether you’re where you want to be as planned a year ago. If the answer is no, then maybe it is a sign that you need to be more curious in your life. Here are five signs you need to further boost your curiosity.

1. You don’t have good memory and learning is ineffective

Always forgetting where you put your car keys or to do the things your boss asks you to do? Studies have shown that people with bad memory may be lacking in dopamine, a chemical in the brain that strengthens people’s memories.

A research study done on college students by a neuroscientist from the University of California might shed light on how natural curiosity can improve our memory.

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Using an fMRI scanner, each of the student’s brains were monitored while being asked a bunch of trivia questions. They started with interesting questions that the students were highly curious about, and then a list of questions that were boring. The students were then asked to do memory tests on remembering the answers. In all, the students remembered 35 answers out of 50 when they were curious and 27 out of 50 when they were not.

2. You don’t have good health

A 2005 report published in the Health Psychology journal did a two-year study of more than 1,000 patients and found out that people with higher levels of curiosity also had a lesser likelihood of having hypertension or diabetes. Though it is not definite that it implies causation, its relationship however, suggests that being curious can bring about positive effects on our health.

In 1996, there was also another study to observe more than 1,000 older adults over a five-year period. Those who survived at the end of the five years were found to be more curious than the others who didn’t outlive the period of study. Another surprising finding was that among those who still lived, there were people who were smokers, who had cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

So if you think you’re not in the best of health physically, try regenerating mentally first by keeping an open mind and developing a habit for questioning things. One example could be questioning the mechanisms of everyday items that we come in contact with and how they work.

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3. You have difficulty in developing intimate relationships

Difficulty in developing intimate relationships can also be a sign of poor levels of curiosity as researchers have pointed out that the highly curious experiences more interpersonal outcomes compared to the less curious.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo (UB) carried out an experiment with 90 students at UB, before which, they were first put through a test to measure their levels of curiosity. The students were then put in two conversations settings with their partners: one casual and the other intimate.

Looking at the results, the researchers concluded that individuals with higher curiosity levels are more approachable, and they exhibit more pleasure-seeking behaviors which increases shared feelings of intimacy between strangers. For example, researchers realized that people with high curiosity tend to approach the questions with wit and humor to liven up conversations.

4. You easily feel unhappy

If you’re getting frustrated problems that seem like small issues to others, then it’s probably due to the fact that you are lacking the two important components of achieving happiness in life. Polls conducted by the Gallup organization realized that the two components are “being able to count on others for help” and “learning something yesterday” — all of which leads to how high a person’s curiosity level is.

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Another finding by researchers in Harvard University will surprise you. Researchers stated that we actually find less joy in anticipated events which we think will make us happy in the future because rather than stumbling on it — which will give us more joy — a planned pursuit of joy is less pleasurable. They then went on to add that cultivating curiosity helps us remain open to new experiences, which helps to increase our likelihood for stumbling upon satisfying activities.

5. You desperately want to find the meaning of life

Curiosity is the gateway to many foundations of our lives; hobbies, interests, and passions are all results of our curiosities being piqued. However, lacking curiosity later in our lives will have us desperately looking for new meaning for what we live for.

It could also be said that curiosity itself is a purpose of life and as long as we live, we’re motivated to find the answers to the big questions in life. And as long as you can muster curiosity levels and keep an open mind, the more you will uncover mysteries and hence, life will naturally become more meaningful.

Easy Ways to Cultivate Curiosity

Keep questioning

Look around you and you’ll realize that there are many things which you do not have the answers to. For example, how does one make designs in leather? How does an air conditioning unit work? Do we really know how much sleep we require?

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Keep your mind open

As adults, we have been molded to assume everything based on life experiences. But try the approach of an open mind, and you will be amazed at the many mysteries you will uncover.

Diversify your life experience

Try new things everyday and it doesn’t matter how difficult it is. As adults, we always assume things like learning a new language is hard because of what we listen from other people who have tried it. Brilliant people have diversified backgrounds because of their high levels of curiosity, and you should too.

Featured photo credit: people window via pexels.com

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Lim Kairen

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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