Assertiveness is a way of communicating to others in a direct, open, and honest manner about your individual rights and needs. In communicating with others in an assertive way you are able to express who you are, to respect yourself, and to value your own opinions and beliefs. Assertiveness is never done in a way that violates the rights of others and does not involve hurting others in physical or emotional ways. The goal of assertiveness is effective communication and mutuality in relationships?equalizing the balance of power in relationships through giving and getting respect and leaving room for compromise when the rights and needs of two people conflict.
Assertiveness promotes self-confidence as you learn to make better decisions for yourself and increase the chances that you will get what you want from your life. It maximizes your sense of control of your life and your emotions as you learn to appropriately express your concerns instead of bottling up those concerns. Aside from personal benefits,assertiveness has a direct positive effect on your relationships. When you are appropriately assertive in your relationships, you will find that others respect you, that conflict is minimized, that others trust you because you have established boundaries and certainty about what to expect. Assertiveness with others increases the chances that they will give you honest and genuine feedback that will help you grow in your own life as well. Assertive behaviors also allow others to grow because you are able to give them open and honest feedback.
Assertive behavior questions also generate verbal and physical responses that can quickly reveal to interviewers candidate confidence levels. Confident candidates usually share in detail their stories of past assertive behavior and successes in a calm, clear and eager manner. Their confidence shows through body language such as steady eye contact, good posture and a smile. Un-confident candidates usually have difficulty answering questions and may not sound enthusiastic or provide clear details. Their lack of confidence can also show through body language such as poor eye contact, closed arms or a frown.
There may be several reasons that people may struggle to be assertive. For some, there may be an underlying belief that others will not like them if they do not do things as others want them to do. They may believe that others will be hurt or disappointed if they say no to a request. There may be a strong belief that others should come first. They may believe that they do not have the right to speak their own needs and opinions. For others, they may not know exactly what they want out of life and so they go along with others who have stronger opinions. These types of beliefs can be deeply ingrained but very limiting. Other barriers to assertiveness may include high levels of anxiety or fear about being assertive and a lack of skills for effective self-expression.
Without being assertive and letting others know of your skills and accomplishments, you will miss out many opportunities. Since no one is perfect, you will make mistakes occasionally. Own up to them and learn from them, then move on.
Even if you mess up once in a while, you will be respected far more for giving it your best shot than by not trying at all. As Wayne Gretzky, the hockey player said, You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Evaluate the answer and try to see if the job seeker is intimidated by authority figures; are they prepared to protest something they do not believe in; are they able to see things from someone else's perspective.
Being assertive and let people know you are clever and skilled is not being immodest or egocentric. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn, so to speak, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you do not do it, who will? Sometimes being modest is not a good thing. It makes you sound like you cannot say anything positive about yourself. It also indicates that you cannot give or receive compliments.
Things to look for:
Does the job seeker seem to have the ability to solve this issue? What steps would they take? Does the thought of a personality conflict intimidate them? Do they seem confrontational or quietly assertive?
Interviewers also focus on a candidate's ability to handle confrontations and resolve conflicts. Confrontation questions reveal whether a candidate ever stood up for something he believed in or persuaded someone to see things from his perspective. They can also help reveal a candidate's past methods for resolving conflict, as well as his ability to negotiate and see issues from different perspectives. Questions might include "Please provide an example of a time when you informed a superior you were unable do something he asked. What did you say?" or "Please detail a situation in which someone didn't agree with you. How did you react?"
Another area that interviewers explore is a candidate's desire and ability to motivate others. These questions help the interviewer determine whether the candidate made the effort to motivate others and whether that effort resulted in increased morale and productivity. They also help the interviewer see if a candidate appears confident of his ability to motivate others. Questions might include "Please provide an example of a time when you motivated your coworkers. What was the outcome of your actions?" or "Can you provide an example of a time when you failed to motivate a coworker whom you attempted to help?"