There is an extremely large variable that most job hunters forget when they are interviewing for a position. In this video, I use presidential elections to illustrate it.
So why should they choose you when they interview you?
Why should you be the one that, when they are finished evaluating all the different people, you’re the one that they scream for?
For now, I want to lay the stage for you and say there are a lot of very competent people who you are competing with. You’re not the only one who can do this job. But the question is, “are you the only one who can do this job in their environment?” Wt hat’s going to make you the chosen one?
I want to look at one of the examples that we can look at successfully competed through a lengthy interview cycle and that’s called presidential politics. No, I’m not going to be talking about the current election. I want to go back in time and look at the election of Barack Obama.
Sen. Obama ran for office, not as the most experienced possible candidate; clearly, Sarah McCain was. But Sen. Obama ostensibly had a year in the Senate but most of that time he was out campaigning. So, he didn’t have any nati experience he. He didn’t have any foreign policy experience or economic experience. He was a state senator in Illinois who often times voted, “Present.” He had a background as a Harvard-trained attorney who practiced for a while. You’ve heard the story of him being a community organizer.
What qualified him to be President of the United States?
Perhaps qualifications are not the key ingredient when Americans elect candidates. Since that is true, we can still look at why he was the one that was chosen over someone who is clearly more experienced than he was.
What some people will say is, “I like his politics and policy ideas better than the other.” I don’t buy that. Borrowing that an unjust point to the fact that statistics throughout the first five or six years of his presidency said so many Americans disagree with his politics. How does this work?
The answer is a good instruction for you as someone who is interviewing and that they like them personally, even if they disagreed with him and they voted for because they liked him. Even as we look at the current election, the way that campaigning is being done is, ” Vote for me. You hate that guy and you should dislike that guy a lot.” Not mentioning names. It’s irrelevant to the equation because the key missing ingredient for most of you is that you are only selling yourself for your competence . . . and competence is only one variable in the equation. There is still likability (sometimes firms refer to that is chemistry I’ll call it likability because that’s the marketing term, the advertiser term used for it).
You want to appear likable to the audience. That sometimes can get tricky because fit, chemistry things like that are rife with the opportunity for bias.
I work on employers about that all the time but, for you as the job hunter, you cannot come across as adversarial. You cannot come across as being “professional,” unless that’s the quality you believe that they’re going to like. Most of the time, a smile, some personality, some off-the-cuff remarks that don’t sound scripted, where you can connect with the interviewer, goes so far in getting hired.
So you can learn this lesson from presidential politics. Likability is a huge variable and why people are chosen. By the way, if we look back in time, Gov. Clinton became President Clinton because people liked him more than the incumbent President. Ronald Reagan, at the time he ran for office, he was not the Ronald Reagan that became the symbol of the Republican Party. He was someone the people liked that made himself likable in the debates with certain off-the-cuff remarks that he made that Americans related to
Look for ways that people will enjoy you, like you and then want you to be around them more every day
Do you really think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
JobSearchCoachingHQ.com is there to change that with great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.