How to Tell Positive from Negative Thinkers when Interviewing


Recently, an A-level candidate met with a staffing solutions expert at The Bagg Group and said he was seeking a change because his boss’s negativity brought down the entire team. That’s certainly not the first time that a toxic workplace has prompted the departure of an excellent employee.

Candidates who have much to offer choose upbeat work environments.

With four decades of successfully placing people in full-time jobs, contract work and temporary positions, recruiters at The Bagg Group know that the saying, “birds of a feather flock together” holds true when it comes to attitude. Hiring authorities who think positively attract and retain positive thinking employees.  

Similarly, there’s truth in another cliché…misery loves company.  An employee who is easily defeated by problems will align quickly and comfortably with a boss who sees only doom and gloom.

But in an interview, everyone tends to be on their best behavior.  With that in mind, hiring authorities at  top companies in the GTA have asked how The Bagg Group staffing solution experts discern between negative thinkers and positive ones when meeting with candidates.  We do it by listening closely to what people tell themselves, and others.    

Negative thinkers complain and judge; positive thinkers assess, consider and explore possibilities with curiousity.     

The following chart from the Mayo Clinic offers some examples of the differences between negative and positive talk.

Negative self-talk                              Positive self-talk

I’ve never done it before. It’s an opportunity to learn something new.
It’s too complicated. I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I’m too lazy to get this done. I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule but can re-examine some priorities.
There’s no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
It’s too radical a change. Let’s take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me. I’ll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I’m not going to get any better at this. I’ll give it another try.

As experts in interviewing, we know that a funny thing happens to you when you listen intently to determine if someone approaches work from a positive or negative perspective.   You start to notice your own communication patterns. 

Are you being upbeat or unenthusiastic? Our staffing experts say the minute they feel they are being negative, they change their  tone because every good interviewer knows the golden rule, established by Confuscius, “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.”

Comments are closed.