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Who Gets Hired, Robots or Humans?

You aren’t being interviewed by robots but humans; humans with emotions, they breathe, they laugh, they fear- much the same what you do occasionally- and handling interviews from this viewpoint not only keeps you composed but also gives you the confidence and comfort to be yourself while you patiently earn your interviewers’ friendship.
 

Many job candidates are quick to think the job interview is a tedious process involving a number of meetings with impassive interviewers who, perhaps in a deliberate attempt to make them flunk the interview, ask tough, sometimes silly or intimidating questions to put them off balance; but recruiters also have their tales to tell about job interviews. The truth about any job interview is that the closer recruiters get to picking out the best qualified candidate for a particular job, the harder it is for them to make decisions; which makes them figure out more creative ways – not necessarily rigorous- to achieve this.

So what makes the difference? What gets interviewers thinking “we would really love to have him on board”? How do they decide who best fits a role when all outstanding candidates have closely related qualities- which all fit the role perfectly?

 

Here are some of my thoughts together with facts and opinions from respected people in the world of recruitment.

Getting or giving anything is about social skills. The world is about being comfortable where you are and making people comfortable, and that’s what social skills are”… Penelope Trunk

 

Have you ever wondered how successful sales men and women convince people to buy their products? Like me, you’ve probably once been convinced to buy a product you didn’t need; clearly, it wasn’t really about the product. There must be something more to the kind words, statement of facts, the audible attractive voice, proper use of words, even the smile. It’s the psychology of selling. This post is not about sales men or women but you do a bit or more of selling every day. You just want to share a story but you also want your listeners to believe you or take some action, it’s a simple joke but you’d appreciate a sincere laugh, it’s just an interview but you want to get the job. In the long run, we are all salesmen and women.

 

Successful sales people hone in on their social skills for every meeting, they buy into the emotions of their prospects and, for the most part, make the sale before presenting any product.

 

Research shows that people would rather work with incompetent people who are likable than with competent stiff-necked arrogant people. By all means, companies and organisations would love to reduce cost and hiring a very qualified candidate who barely needs any training is a good way to do so, but many employers would rather hire candidates they feel they can best work with, not necessarily the best qualified ones; this clearly demystifies the myth that the best qualified candidate always gets the job.

As with all other things to attend interviews with, the right outlook and body language matter even more. What may have started out as a cold, monotonous question and answer session could turn out to be a friendly conversation with your potential employers if you have a positive attitude.

 

 “There is no such thing as boring knowledge, there is only boring presentation” – Dan Roam.

 

I’ve once attended a seminar where it was so evident (at least to me) the speaker made so many grammatical errors in his speech, yet he was able to command the attention and respect of his audience. Two things- he knew what he was talking about and he had great social skills; he completely understood his audience, he knew their pain-point and proffered solutions, he livened up the audience with his fascinating stories and witty jokes, we all listened keenly not minding his blunders. Having the right qualifications for a job is important, equally important- perhaps more, is the right composure. Your level of composure determines how you would present your skills to potential employers, and ultimately, how they’d think of you.

 

You can never go wrong with a great story

We all love stories, hearing about people’s experiences has a way of tickling one’s imagination; despite its professional nature, the interview is not a place to hold back compelling stories from your interviewers. With open arms and minds, interviewers would welcome a story of how you overcame a problem, because it saves them any further speculations about you being the right fit for the job; this- to recruiters- is better than looking up a blueprint/theory for how a problem can be solved.

Although Interviewers prefer candidates who are good storytellers to those who just give vapid responses, telling a captivating story doesn’t just happen by magic because if you tell a wrong story, presto-you go in a black hole.

A few hints to help:

–       Have your story ready before the interview: while you prepare for some anticipated questions, draft out a story from your experience, a project you led, a volunteer job you took, a challenge you faced in your former job position etc.

–       Keep it simple and short: if your grandmother won’t understand or believe the story, scrap it! Avoid technical or industry jargons.

–       Go straight to the point: telling interviewers you lost one of your cats while you prepared a proposal for a big project is pointless.

–       Results, results, results: what did you achieve? What were your accomplishments? Did you reduce company cost? Did you increase sales? Did you increase client base? As the case may be, fit any/all of these into your story. Also make good use of figures to quantify data.

–       If you can, bring along samples of your work to prove your point.

–       Rehearse your story till it sticks; rehearse it till you believe it.

 

Humans, not robots…

You aren’t being interviewed by robots but humans; humans with emotions, they breathe, they laugh, they fear- much the same what you do occasionally- and handling interviews from this viewpoint not only keeps you composed but also gives you the confidence and comfort to be yourself while you patiently earn your interviewers’ friendship.

Recruiters talk about candidates who leave an impression- beyond showing interviewers how much you know and have what they want, care enough to make them smile (from their heart) and go home waiting to receive their call.

I’m not saying it’s easy but it’s an option you should explore, because it works.

*Penelope Trunk is a hiring expert and founder of Bravencareerist.com

 

WRITTEN BY
Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell