I hated interviewing for a job. I got nervous and with a fair complexion, when I blush, there is no hiding it. I can’t tell you how many times I walked into an interview, realized I was chewing gum, and swallowed it while the next question was being asked. Some people are confident and breeze right through an interview, that wasn’t me for a very long time.
During the years I was a recruiter I found myself on the opposite side of the interview table. I was part of the group who interviewed for internal candidates, and the first few times I did it, my perception changed. I thought companies were looking for skills, communication, and education. Don’t get me wrong they absolutely are, but there is a major ingredient people forget about or don’t realize.
We had a group of 6-8 people in the group when we interviewed a candidate. I’m sure it was rather unsettling when the person walked in. I almost felt bad for them, but it was a high pressure position so you absolutely had to be able to deal with pressure and the unknown. The stress was crazy some days, the deadlines insane, and it was mandatory that everyone did their part.
The majority of the interviews I was quiet and listened while my co-workers asked questions. I asked them as well, but not as many. I sat back and watched. I learned more about the candidate from using my instincts and watching their reactions to the questions my co-workers were asking. I knew if a candidate was going to make it or not before a decision was ever made and so do other hiring managers.
Through those experiences, I learned something important. I realized the other significant piece to the puzzle a hiring team is searching for. It is personality fit. What are your values? Morals? Are you a team player? What’s your work ethic? Do you play well with others in the sand box even when you don’t like someone?
It is a key part of the hiring process. It moves beyond words and takes insight and instinct to identify the right fit. However, it’s a two-way street. If you’re qualified for the job, but not hired, could it be the simple reason that not one size fits all? Not every person is the right fit for every company? Not every job is right for every applicant?
So, what is the key ingredient that can land you the job? Your character and people with good instincts will spot it within minutes. However, as the person being interviewed you need to do the same. You don’t want a boss that yells at you and a company full of people who don’t understand what team means.
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Jennifer Owenby offers her combined expertise as a recruiter along with training as a professional resume writer. Please visit ONB Professional Resumes and LinkedIn Services for additional information and scheduling an appointment.