Graham has received interview feedback. ‘They said that my personality wouldn’t suit the team,’ he says. ‘What can I do about that?’
Interviewers like to believe they work objectively, matching candidates against carefully measured job components.
In reality, interview decisions are often gut reactions highly influenced by personality, with even skilled interviewers unconsciously favouring people who make them feel comfortable.
Just be yourself is the advice often given to candidates but this rarely helps.
You take several versions of yourself to work: You create a different image talking to the boss compared with talking to work colleagues; you’ll act differently at a formal presentation than you will at lunchtime; and you will certainly be quite a different person in a job interview.
Better advice – be the best version of yourself you can be under pressure. You on a good day, more upbeat, more enthusiastic and more energised than normal.
Anticipate opportunities to demonstrate personality strengths in interviews.
Think of good work-related examples, such as coping with pressure, working with difficult people, overcoming problems or getting things done with thin resources.
Examine job descriptions in detail and then think about how far your personality might match. For example, if the job seeks someone who is ‘innovative’, think of good examples.
Visualise the work context so you get a feel for what the post holder will need to do and think about what personality characteristics would be the most useful.
At the interview, work hard on the impact you make in the first minute. An interviewer makes an instinctive prediction from how personable you are – will you be easy to talk to, pleasant to work alongside, good at establishing relationships quickly?
A decision is made about how open you appear. Do you readily respond to questions and volunteer information? Do you help the interview flow? Finally, your walk-in appearance – do you look as though you will fit in?
If you’re in a job and hoping for promotion, be aware of the impact you make when contributing to a meeting, making a presentation or communicating with senior staff.
Focus on the impression you make every time you arrive at a meeting or stand up in front of even the smallest audience. Prepare not just what you say but how you say it. Think about what you’re really communicating every time you speak when key people are in the room.
Looking the part also matters – dress like someone two rungs up the ladder and this is more likely to happen.
You might think that chemistry between you and others is entirely instinctive and outside your control. That’s a great way of keeping your head in the sand. Small adjustments to the way you come across make a huge difference.
John Lees’ latest title is Job Interviews: Top Answers To Tough Questions. See johnleescareers.com or gumtree.com/careers for tips and resources
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/912242-john-lees-small-details-make-a-big-difference-in-interview-situations#ixzz26u9M13OS