Okay. This is a confession. Hiring managers are human. They smile, feel, emote, and sense just like everyone else out there. They’d like to hire people just like them, and not robots.
Personality training centers and interview coaching institutes are in great demand in developing nations. Career counselors, life coaches, and consulting and marketing services are the tickets to finding a job if you are in the developed world. But somewhere there’s a disconnect. What are hiring managers actually looking for when they’re interviewing? It seems like both ends of the world are struggling to figure this out.
Subject knowledge or attitude? Culture fit? Competency mapping? Employability? What are the HR folks talking about? How can that be translated into layman’s terms for the sake of finding a job? Here are the top four attributes that can get you to be the candidate that the HR person selects to join your dream organization.
Being truthful is the first and most important step. Chances are that the hiring manager you meet with has already read notes about your technical interviews and has Googled you enough to get some insights about you. She is not looking for right answers, but rather, honest answers. Honesty in an interview is almost always the best policy.
Are you open to learning? Can you take some serious criticism when pushed to the corner? Ever felt like a piece of scum? Chances are that you might have just completed a stress interview. Once again, it is not about right or wrong answers, but rather about your reactions. The hiring manager is gauging your response, your body language and approach. Stay cool and you’re bound to hit a home run.
HR professionals are human. Statistics show that those who are well-dressed are perceived to be more attractive and smarter. Does that sound biased? Too bad, it is! But it is also the reality and has always been the reality. We can’t change the human psyche. Unless the company you are interviewing for requires you to be in shorts and sandals, dress appropriately. Look clean and visually dress yourself for the position you are hoping to be hired for. If you can’t see yourself as a Senior Executive or Business Analyst in certain attire, there’s a high probability that no else can. A hiring manager is no exception.
4. Sense of Humor
Everyone loves a good conversationalist. A good communicator remembers to both talk and listen. Remember to practice the art of narrating your story and adding funny excerpts about yourself and situations. Let your optimism, charisma, and pleasing personality shine through while you chatter away. Keep in mind that it isn’t a monologue, but a dialogue, and you’ll have the hiring manager smiling away throughout the interview.
Put the briefcase away, and carry a backpack. No, I don’t mean that literally. No one likes to be around an up tight, rigid brood. You don’t have to give that false impression that you are all work and no play. Hiring managers today are looking for an extremely diverse work force who can work, compete and communicate to a global audience and not just subject matter experts. Your personality matters most!
About the Author
Susan Varghese heads business for Cynet Systems Inc. You can find her on her website or connect with her on Linkedin.
Anne Davis says
There are other ways to set yourself apart from the rest too: establish honesty by presenting your prepared background check at the actual interview. Not only will this leave a lasting impression of forthrightness, you’ll save an HR professional some time and hassle as well!
What could leave a better impression than that!
Jagoda Perich-Anderson, M.A. says
I like the point about letting your personality shine through. If you can do that and simultaneously demonstrate what a terrific team player you’d be, all the better.