To answer the first question, yes; hiring managers tend to give job offers to those whom they get along with…this is all other things being equal. When you think about it, the proposition is logical as the potential boss is going to have to manage that particular employee meaning they are going to be spending a lot of time around each other and people simply work well together when they have some personal cohesion.
Additionally, to prevent turnovers and increase employee moral, many organizations like to maintain an unique, firmly entrenched corporate culture that is full of like-minded individuals who are driven towards the same goal. To an extent, you can almost interchange “likeminded” with “likable” as the best teams tend to have members who get along with one another. Best friends, not a requirement – cordial interaction, this cannot go without.
Studies have shown that members of a team can reach goals more effectively when there is trust and personal relationships amongst the group. Don’t get me wrong, a charming personality can’t make up for a terrible resume, but when all things are considered equal the individual who is liked better on a personal basis will get the job.
Does this make you intimidated as it does many other potential job seekers? Well, you shouldn’t be. As human beings, we are all insecure about being accepted by others and while some are inherently effective at dealing with and getting along with other people, some individuals simply have to work at it.
Tips on Making the Interviewer like the Interviewee
This begs the question of how we do work at getting others to like us better without coming across as desperate or fake? For many, this can be a challenge, but as hard as it is, sincerity must be present. Here are some tips on how to do so:
- Take an interest in the other individual as more than an interviewer or gatekeeper preventing you from reaching your career goals, but rather see this person as a human being. While the majority of the interviews should be about the job, it is okay to ask the person about themselves and how they started with the company. As a matter of fact, I would recommend this.
Human beings, without exception have an inherent need to feel important and there is no better way to recognize someone else’s importance by taking a sincere interest in them.
- Smile and act as if you would like to be at the interview; don’t seem tortured nor overly nervous. Get out of the mind frame that interviews are painful and are simply going to result in another reject.
Rather, begin to enjoy them and know that even though you won’t be 100% at each interview, remember that “everyday in every way, you’re getting better and better.” Don’t be so hard on yourself; this takes time and practice as well as belief in your ability to improve.
- Be confident in who you are. Many times we doubt ourselves on aspects of our qualifications that we ought to be confident in and, when we are not confident in ourselves, we are not as personable as we can be as all of our focus is shifted inward and, thus we don’t come across as outgoing as we should.
Nobody can teach you self-confidence nor can you learn it overnight; it takes discipline, however it can be gained and, once you understand your true worth, you will be able to relate on a more personal level with the interviewee. This gains trust which is additionally imperative.
- Be honest. At the day’s close, the best thing that we can do to establish strong relationships with others is to be honest be ourselves, have integrity and stand for something.
A Final Thought
The majority of people are not born with great interpersonal skills, however becoming better at interviewing requires an upgrade in your ability to deal with others and get along with them. While these are not skills that are learned over night, they are acquirable and more important than many interviewees realize.
Article by Ken Sundheim
Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement, an executive search firm specializing in sales and marketing recruitment throughout the U.S. for companies from all over the world in over 100 different industries. Among other sources, KAS has been recognized by Forbes, AOL Jobs, BusinessInsider, Globe and Mail, Dow Jones, Fox Business News, MTV and more.
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