You can’t always know what employers are looking for in job candidates, but it’s a safe bet that you’re better off coming across as more, rather than less, curious. Not only do companies need to bet on people who can adapt and learn but organizations are already having trouble filling open positions right now.
Curiosity alone can’t close these talent gaps, but it can certainly make you more employable in the current work environment. Indeed, being curious is the precursor to learning faster and better, and thereby adapting to change rather than succumbing to it. Here are a few ways you can turn your curiosity into a marketable job skill during an interview.
- Ask A Few Thoughtful Questions
Interviewers aren’t just interested in your answers. They also want to evaluate the questions you ask them. Asking too many questions may derail the interview and annoy them, but asking none will make you look uninterested or unprepared. Finally, you should expand your line of questioning beyond the role itself and ask about the organization’s values, goals, and strategy.
- Talk About Your Own Interests And Hobbies
Some people are more curious than others, but everybody is curious about something. Psychological research suggests that our interests and hobbies are a strong indicator of our curiosity and, additionally, that we’re more likely to develop useful skills and abilities when we’re curious about something. This makes intuitive sense. But less obvious is how, when, and whether to bring up passions that may seem like unrelated side-activities. The best approach to doing that (and you really should) is the one that invites a hiring manager or recruiter to appreciate your curiosity in action.
- Think Before You Answer
Psychologists know that curiosity is an observable trait. It’s detectable in a range of other cognitive capabilities like absorption, thoughtfulness, and critical thinking. So if you’re not sure how to demonstrate your curiosity, just demonstrate those other things by proxy. Take your time before you answer a question: Pause. Think. Reflect. Then answer. It’s not just performance, either. If you give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts, you’ll wind up giving more thoughtful answers overall. This will help you stand out–which is ultimately the most crucial requirement for getting any job.
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