6 ways to win over employers with your growth mindset

6 min read | Orlagh Reynolds | Article | Career development Upskilling | Interview advice

Professional with a growth mindset

In the ever-evolving professional landscape, the ability to learn and adapt is becoming increasingly crucial to career success.

As businesses grapple with skills shortages, evolving work methods, and disruptive technologies, they are more open to hiring professionals who may lack certain technical skills, but demonstrate a willingness to push beyond their perceived limitations. Our salary guide data revealed that 71% of employers value a learning attitude over existing skills, bucking the notion that technical prowess and experience are all that matter.

A growth mindset, characterised by the belief in one’s capacity to acquire new skills and knowledge, could take you far in your career. By demonstrating this mindset in your interviews, you’ll not only increase your chances of landing your next job, but also position yourself for success in the dynamic world of work.

Here are six steps to grab your interviewer’s attention with your growth mindset:


1. Study your potential employer

Every situation, including a job interview, is a learning opportunity. To demonstrate this attitude to a potential employer, research their company’s mission statement, recent news, products, competitors, and industry insights.

This will not only bolster your confidence and make you better equipped for face-to-face discussion, but demonstrate your proactive approach to learning and assimilating new information.


2. Demonstrate your problem-solving skills

Given how quickly workplaces are evolving, transferable core skills like problem-solving are high on a hiring manager’s wish list. Be prepared to share a specific problem you tackled from start to finish, how you handled any challenges, and what you learned from the experience.

The focus should be on your willingness to explore different solutions, your resilience, and what you took away from the experience.


3. Prove your learning commitment with the “power of yet”

Stanford Psychologist, Carol Dweck, proposed the “power of yet": a concept which emphasises that lacking a certain skill or competency doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. Haven’t quite discovered your inner data expert or project manager? Not yet, that is.

Show your commitment to self-improvement by sharing insightful books you’ve studied, some of the online courses you’ve undertaken, your participation in industry events, or other learning opportunities, and the outcomes you achieved.


4. Stand out by asking intelligent questions

Asking well-prepared, relevant, open-ended, and positively phrased questions will help convey your curiosity and engagement. And to really show your commitment to learning, why not find out more about a potential organisation’s growth opportunities?

Consider asking the following: what are the company’s learning and development initiatives, and what opportunities are there for long-term skill acquisition? However, try to avoid asking self-serving questions, or those that could have been easily answered through your pre-interview research.


5. Show you’re comfortable being uncomfortable

With change being synonymous with today’s world of work, employers want resilient professionals who can operate outside their comfort zone. Whether it’s embracing emerging technologies, taking new ways of working in your stride, or perhaps picking up skills beyond your job description, a growth mindset will facilitate your capacity to tackle unfamiliar situations and learn from them. To show yours, share an example where you challenged yourself beyond your everyday routine.

Maybe you supported a local charity by volunteering in an unfamiliar role, or perhaps you finally decided to take up a language you’ve been meaning to learn. Just like a growth mindset, these scenarios don’t have to be exclusive to the workplace – what matters is your willingness to try new things and see what you can learn in the process.


6. Frame your failures as learning prospects

Interviews are a great opportunity to sell your previous successes, impressing potential employers with your flagship projects and career milestones. However, an interviewer may be more interested in a time you failed rather than succeeded, and more specifically, how you reacted to this setback.

Don’t just be ready to describe a failure – own it. Explain your reflections on what went wrong, and any action you took to remedy the situation or avoid it from happening again. By doing so, you’ll frame failure as another opportunity to grow and develop.


Your interview is just the beginning…

Your growth mindset shouldn’t end when your interview has. If you didn’t get the job, view it as a learning opportunity and remember “the power of yet”. If you did get the job, continue learning and preparing for your first day to validate your employer’s choice.

Remember, developing a growth mindset is a continuous endeavour that extends beyond an interview – focus on the journey, not the destination.

Discover more interview tips and career advice, or check out our latest job openings.

About this author

Orlagh Reynolds, Director at Hays

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