Positive thinking, working on your mindset and being mentally tough are now hot topics. Not surprising as there is currently a vast amount of evidence to demonstrate that a growth mindset is something high performers and successful people have that enables them to be mentally tough, no matter what the situation.

Here at Sigma Recruitment, we have interviewed thousands of candidates over the last thirteen years we have been in business, and we notice that the candidates that have a positive ‘go for it’ mindset rather than being a negative complainer, position themselves as an employee of choice.

In fact, it is common to have four or five employers all scrambling to recruit them.

Mental toughness is not about being a hard head. Instead, it is about having the resilience and self-belief to back yourself, learn from mistakes and encourage others in the team to power on no matter what.

Here are some of the traits of mentally tough people you can use as a yardstick to measure
yourself by, as you develop your manufacturing career.


They Don’t Blame Others



You can spot a mentally tough person by their approach to both their work and home life. They do not waste time feeling sorry for themselves or blame others when things don’t turn out the way they want.

This is a useful trait to have especially as you plan your manufacturing career and naturally put yourself in an interview situation.

For instance, I am sure you have been asked in an interview why you want to leave your current role or how you got on with your last manager?

When we interview candidates for our clients here at Sigma Recruitment we still occasionally hear people demonstrating the ‘blame’ mindset.

You know how it goes; “well I was working with a bunch of people who didn’t know what they were doing. The management team had no idea either……. I applied for a new role and was overlooked because I wasn’t the favourite”, and the list goes on.

The other side of the coin are those mentally tough people we see and put forward. They can’t wait to get to an interview. They enjoy the challenge and are super keen to grab their career by the ‘scruff of the neck’ and power forward.


Mentally Tough People Are Resilient



Resilience might sound like the latest buzz from a TED talk. However, it is now recognised as a critical characteristic of employees who deal well with the stresses and strains of the manufacturing world today.

A few definitions might be useful here.

Resilience is a person’s ability to respond to pressure and the demands of both work and daily life. Dictionary definitions include things like flexibility, strength, the speed of recovery and buoyancy after a challenge or issue has occurred. In short, resiliency affects our ability to ‘bounce back.’; so important when something goes wrong on site, or deadlines get changed at the last minute.

In the manufacturing sector, which has had it’s up’s and downs over the years, resilient people are better able to deal with the demands placed upon them. For instance, this might require them to work more extended hours to get a project complete or to switch momentum when a new challenging deadline is communicated from the plant director. Do they moan and complain; rarely. Instead, they have a;”right likes get this sorted !” attitude, and their careers soar because of it.



How Does Mental Toughness Work in An Interview Situation?

Interviewers in the manufacturing sector are always looking out for signs of mental toughness when they are hiring for various manufacturing roles in their organisation because mental strength is an essential trait for anyone in a demanding career post-Brexit and our changing economy.

The thing is mentally tough people see their past mistakes not as a failure, but an opportunity to learn. This means that when they hear interview questions like ‘tell me what your weaknesses are?’ or ‘tell us about the last time that you failed?’, mentally strong people can turn their past mistakes into a positive.

[Interview Tip: This is what hiring managers are looking for an applicants ability to turn things around. Remember, positive mentally tough people help teams grow and perform.]

The purpose of these questions is to find out how you cope with adversity and challenges, and how you can turn a ‘bad event’ into a ‘good’ one in the workplace. Some candidates dread these questions yet for a mentally tough person; it is not something to fear. Instead, it is an opportunity to show how much they have learnt along the way.


They Respect Other Peoples Success



Mentally tough people praise others and are OK shining the light on someone else rather than grabbing all the glory for themselves.

In an interview situation, it is a good idea to mention the effort of others in your past successes, as it shows you are a good team player. Let’s say you are speaking about a project you and your team managed to deliver for your organisation, talk about the contribution everyone made.

Growing your mental toughness is a life-long process, yet by displaying some of the behaviours and traits we have talked about in this post, you can demonstrate to the interview panel that you have the self-belief and mental strength to not only excel in the manufacturing role you have applied for but potentially others too


We are ‘South Wales Recruitment Specialists’ based in Cardiff, Wales.

We offer a full range of permanent recruitment solutions to many of South Wales’ and the South Wests’ leading manufacturing, technical, automotive and life science organisations. This includes companies in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Ebbw Vale, Port Talbot, Bridgend and the surrounding areas in South Wales.

Sigma Recruitment has one of the largest and most comprehensive recruitment candidate databases in the area. To get in touch with our team call us now on 02920 450 100. Alternatively, contact us here.

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