How does a candidates’ self-assessment affect their employment prospects?

Many articles about self-esteem have already been written. The most important issues for any candidate is the answers to below questions: “How can self-esteem affect my development?”, “Why is it so important?”, “How do I build it?”. In this article, you will get information about the important role our self-esteem plays not only in our everyday life, but also in the recruitment process, and how to deal with low self-esteem at work.

What is self-esteem ?

Self-esteem, by definition, is the general attitude we take toward ourselves. It affects our psychological and physical characteristics. It’s a kind of way of thinking about yourself, your qualities, competencies and aptitudes.

It is also an evaluation of one’s achievements, comparing oneself to one’s past self (one’s progress) or to others. Self-esteem affects all of life: well-being, behavior, decisions, goals, work and relationships with other people.

Where does low self-esteem come from?

People with low self-esteem are insecure about their abilities and making decisions is difficulty for them. Other symptoms include excessive preoccupation with criticism and a lack of self-satisfaction.

Underestimated self-esteem can be caused by a variety of factors, relating to everyday life. For the candidate with a low self-esteem, these may include:

  • education,
  • work,
  • salary,
  • work experience,
  • skills.

Self-esteem disorder can be conditioned by work life, family life, personal life or social life.

Low self-esteem – characteristic features

Among the feelings and emotions that usually arise in people with low self-esteem are mainly insecurity, feelings of inferiority, shyness, fear and frustration.

Feeling low self-esteem at work. How do such candidates feel and behave?

  • Are not confident in themselves and their competence,
  • Have a distorted and/or negative view of themselves,
  • Are pessimists who believe that everything will go wrong for them,
  • They give up easily,
  • They are afraid of change,
  • They compare themselves with others and think that other people are better than them,
  • Are critical of their work, but are afraid of criticism from others.
  • They are afraid to make mistakes,
  • They avoid responsibility and taking the initiative,
  • Need the constant approval of others,
  • Have difficulty with clear expressing their thoughts, feelings or opinions.

What does low self-esteem mean for a candidate?

In many cases, low self-esteem is the main reason for failure in the job search. Why? Low self-esteem can be affecting work in many ways. What does it look like in practice?

Imagine this situation: a candidate with a feeling of low self-esteem at work is looking for a new one.

First, will he submit his application somewhere? If so, where? What positions will he be looking for?

He doesn’t perceive himself as a valuable and usefulness person for employer, he can let go at the offer stage. He can also choose to apply for positions below his qualifications causes being afraid of rejection.

In case he decides to apply for a position under his competence, probably he won’t be able to present himself well.

Unfortunately, a candidate with a low self-esteem have dificulties with talking about his skills and qualifications. His distorted view of himself, he will think he is bragging. In addition, he may be convinced that there are other candidates who are much better.

Form of presentation or skills? What is more important during meeting with recruiter?

After several years of experience in the recruitment, I am pretty sure that sometimes the form of candidate presents during an interview is more important than the skills he possesses. Our level of self-esteem and our sense of worth are the most essential elements in creating a self-presentation. The skills and knowledge are essentials for a position, and achieving the best possible results. However, the first impression at a job interview mainly depends on how you present yourself.

Will the candidate not give up during the recruitment process?

From the beggining when a candidate with a low self-esteem and low assessment of his own skills at the start assumes failure. The candidate is not motivated to apply. In further steps of recruitment process, he might feel no hope of success, but the level of negative emotions and stress interferes with hisconcentration and ability to express himself. All these factors make the final rating of the candidate low.

Another example, I will cite the story of candidate with I spoke recently. He submitted application for a position which he matched cause of his experience . I invited him for an interview, and, unfortunately, the stairs began. The candidate had considerable experience in direct sales, which he gained while working in apparel stores. I wanted to know more about his duties, and the responsibilities of the position. The candidate replied: “I worked in a store as a salesman, what can I say, everyone knows what such work looks like.” It made me curious how a person who has so much experience in a particular area can’t talk about it. I kept asking. As it turned out, the candidate admitted that despite his knowledge of the industry, he has low self-esteem and self-worth, so he belittles his qualifications. As a result, he dropped out of the recruitment because he said he was not yet ready for the new challenges and he need to work on his own evaluation.

How to improve self-esteem? Some practical advice

  • Start by writing down your skills, your even smallest successes, what you are good at, what you are grateful for. Even if you can’t think of anything, there are bound to be things you can write down here and the list will quickly fill up (e.g., I type fast, make super presentations, bake the best Viennese cheesecake, do a great manicure, know how to comfort my older brother).
  • Avoid comparing yourself with others. It is worth focusing attention on your own goals and your own development. Judging oneself through the prism of other people’s talents and achievements makes no sense, because there are too many differences. You can be inspired by your idols, but don’t copy someone else’s lifestyle or work.
  • Know your strengths and develop them. Awareness of one’s qualities and competencies is extremely important in the process of both building and enhancing one’s self-esteem. This allows us to identify what our strengths are and what sets us apart. That’s why it’s worth discovering yourself, your qualities and talents – and developing them as a hobby or profession.
  • Appreciate and reward yourself. It is worth rewarding yourself for successes, even the smallest ones. Seeing the positives helps us look at ourselves in a gentler and friendlier way.
  • Treat failures as lessons. Setbacks are a normal part of life. Instead of dwelling on them, getting frustrated and blaming yourself, it is worth learning lessons and continuing to pursue your goals. Even participating in recruitments where we were rejected at some stage builds our experience with new knowledge.

Everyone has to step out of their comfort zone at some point. If you want to climb the career ladder or create something of your own then it is essential to break through and work on your self-esteem. Remember that jobs for people with low self-esteem should be balanced and should incorporate work life fit principles.

Any change is difficult,“however, the only thing that is certain in life is change,” if you want it, it will definitely work.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Izabela Wilarska

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