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What Are Interviewers Looking for When Interviewing Candidates? | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

 Ep 700 Every company describes it differently but it comes down to a few things.


I received a question from someone among many that I received the last few days. The question reads, "What are interviewers looking for when the interview candidates?"

I define it as a math formula. It is 5 C's=PL.

The 1st C is Competence. The person should be competent by some measure that the firm defines in order to be hired. HOWEVER, I want you to understand that not everyone who's hired is competent. So there are obviously other factors that come into play.

The 2nd 1 is Confidence or Self-Confidence. Does the person inspire confidence that they are the solution to a need?

Character. Do you demonstrate character on some of the behavioral interview questions that you be asked? Do you come across as a character? Or some combination of the 2? Most firms will require people with personality AND who have good character.

Chemistry. How do you fit into the group? To me, this is the most problematic area because chemistry is often the place where bias shows up. For example, are you like Ramesh? He's the guy that just does everything right I can do terrific work. Are you like Beth? The issue comes down to you, not really seeing the person as they are. They're not really seeing who you are. You are working off of associations that are pure fantasy on your part.

Charisma. Charismatic people always do better than none charismatic people. I can do that by pointing out a few US elections. Obama versus McCain. Obama versus Romney. Not exactly big charismatic figures were those opponents? How about Clinton versus Dole? Clinton versus Bush? Reagan versus Mondale or Reagan versus Carter. Lily, the charismatic person won in each of those elections even though their politics were very different. Charisma always comes into the equation.

So we have Competence, Confidence, Character, Chemistry, Charisma-- all of this leads to PL and that translates into Personal Leadership. Are you someone who appears to have that self-direction that allows people to believe in you and to rely upon you? To me, this is what companies look for.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and leadership coaching. offers 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.


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