Negative interview feedback on self awareness & reflexivity

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Negative interview feedback on self awareness & reflexivity

Post by IdaBauer » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:23 pm

So, for the second time, I've had interview feedback saying that I was not reflexive or self-aware enough.

I have thought about the feedback and really don't believe that these comments are reflective of who I am as a person, but clearly I'm struggling to show these qualities adequately at interview or messing up somewhere with the answers I'm giving, due to nerves and inexperience (I'm a career changer, so these interview questions are really different to the ones I'm used to answering).

I've studied Gibb's reflective model but am not really sure how to show the reflection process in interviews when the questions are way more oblique than 'tell me about a time when you've done something wrong but learned from it' and the self awareness thing has me stumped! How on earth can I be sure to show clear self-awareness at interview? What even constitutes self-awareness in an interview setting? Certainly in this latest interview I picked up distinct negativity towards me pretty much as soon as I sat down (and the result showed I was reading the situation correctly) but I just had no idea how to turn things back in my favour in that situation. :( Any thoughts will be gratefully received - I have asked for more detailed feedback from the interview, and am still awaiting this.

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Re: Negative interview feedback on self awareness & reflexiv

Post by Spatch » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:08 pm

While some may point you to books you can learn from, I genuinely believe the best way to develop those two attributes is through your own therapy and having a really good supervisor that you trust and can be completely open with.

Both are worth paying for (if necessary).

"Aware" that this may come across as harsh (see what I did there), from your post you are seeing reflexivity and self awareness as a "thing" -one you have to whip out at interview. It's more an internal attribute like prejudice or intelligence, something that comes across whether you like it or not through your speech, your thinking and interactions. Your resistance to the feedback as "not being representative of who you are" is worth focusing on. Its exactly the sort of thing a self aware individual wouldn't say, a sort of emotional Dunning-Kruger effect.

It is frustrating though. Having had to give feedback about this sort of thing in the past, it's hard to quantify especially as so much else is built on hard or tangible factors such as marks, job roles or test scores. Good luck with it though, and it's definitely worth developing as this capacity effects almost every aspect of ones life.
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Re: Negative interview feedback on self awareness & reflexiv

Post by IdaBauer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:39 pm

Thanks for your input Spatch. Just to clarify - this is not job feedback, or peer feedback. It's not been mentioned as an issue with anyone who has worked with me, or my peers in other courses when I've asked for input on this, or even as something my therapist flagged when I was seeing one during a previous course - but it is coming up in interviews. I think this is why you might think I'm considering it as a 'thing' I need to show - it's because I (and others) believe I am able to be self aware and reflective (though, of course, definitely always room for improvement, and I'm always keen to learn and develop). So there must be something around the way I am in high pressure interview situations that is coming across wrongly (plus I'm a career changer from marketing and used to a very different style of interviewing) and I just get the feeling that I'm failing at something I can't improve as I don't really know what the expectation and how to meet it :cry:

I'm not currently in a job where I have a supervisor, but am starting voluntary work shortly where I will have access to group supervision which might help me see how others are doing things in comparison. I also have a bunch of books on reflective writing and reflective practice to work through and see if there is anything I can integrate. I've also considered working with an independent supervisor as you suggested, so that might be something that makes the difference for next year.

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Negative interview feedback on self awareness & reflexivity

Post by Bela » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:13 pm

I think it's really tough to hear something when it doesn't sit right with how you see yourself, and it can be so easy to become defensive. I think even the fact that you're reflecting on your learnt interview style from previous experience and how this might be impacting on your interview style shows self awareness and your ability to self-reflect.

I agree with spatch that reflexivity and self-awareness are not a 'thing', but if you are already that way inclined then it's just a matter of opening out your thought processes in an interview that will demonstrate these skills. In interviews I always try not just to provide an answer but show my thinking around it...So why is it that you think X? Is there anything else it could be? What led you to that hypothesis? What did you learn from what you did? What would you do differently in the future? How did it impact upon you emotionally? How did your thoughts, values and assumptions influence you? Just giving yourself these prompts in an interview can demonstrate your thinking rather than just being more factual in your answers.

Good luck in your future interviews!

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Re: Negative interview feedback on self awareness & reflexiv

Post by maven » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Is this also about your presentation, body language, awareness of the limits to your own competency and other soft skills? Are people perceiving you as too formal, or answering as if there is a single right answer? Are you not willing to share enough of your own personality, history or the impact of the work on you as a person?

On a more practical level, can you get someone to do a mock interview with you and provide more specific feedback?

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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