Manners Make a Difference
likes a winner. Smart, bright, talented – these are qualities that interviewers
look for in their selection process. While most people know that top skills and
strong experience attract the attention of employers, did you know that hiring
decisions often come down to a simple question?
It’s a matter of likability.
It’s true. While a person might have a stellar grade point average, or amazing technical skills, how that individual presents himself as a candidate worthy of being part of the team has a lot to do with whether they feel comfortable rapport can be established.
Candidates hate it when I say this, but I often remind them to show their best personas when at the interview. It seems like a no-brainer type of move, right? A lot of times, candidates ask me what do I mean by their ‘best persona’? Quite often, it’s all of the subtle stuff you learned from your parents or whoever raised you when thinking about things like manners, being polite, and any other interactions with other human beings. They are the behaviors and indicators that show you have character, integrity, and concern for others.
While it is about the dog and pony show of presenting your best self from a professional accomplishment point of view, the interview is a chance for you to show if you’re the type of person your potential teammates want to be around. Showing this quality often comes to light in ways we take for granted – for example, if your interviewer comes out to greet you walking with crutches, do you offer to hold the door open for her, or don’t even bother? Or, when asked if you’d like something to drink before the interview, do you refrain from clarifying that you prefer sparkling water over flat, and with a wedge of lemon and not lime, or… do you simply accept what is offered with simple gratitude?
It’s in the simple behaviors we exude that paint a picture of how it might be to be around us. This is no exception to the interview process. So, when the boss drops an unrealistic deadline of getting a full marketing campaign out in less than 12 hours, for example, would your co-workers feel that you’d be working alongside them, into the wee hours of the night, a reasonably pleasant experience? Or, would they fear you’d be complaining all night? They likely had a clue of which person you’d be from your interactions at the interview.