Job Seeker

Job interviews: Appear likable! Here's how

By Procom

staffing agency likability tips

There are different ways to be wise.

For instance:

There's the wisdom gleaned through one's Intelligent quotient (IQ); the humans who excel with an intellectual prowess and academic abilities. And then there's the enlightenment earned through emotional intelligence (EQ); the street smart room readers who understand social situations and relationships. 

Yes, smart moves can be made in many different forms, but it doesn't take a genius to know that just as every human possess some form of intellect, we also possess an inner desire to be liked.

And if you're on the hunt for a job, you really want to be liked. Because hiring managers agree that likability is their #1 hiring factor. 

So, whether you're book smart, street smart or both, you'll also want to demonstrate likable qualities to get the gig.

Take these tips into consideration to show how you would be an enjoyable addition to the team.

1. Be on time

There's a saying along the lines of, "If you're early, you're on time, and if you're on time, you're late."' Punctuality is a given, but you don't want to arrive too early. Charles Liikson, a Technical Recruiter with Procom advises, "Parking/transit is unpredictable. I suggest arriving in the area of the interview 20 minutes prior to the start time and checking in with reception or security 10 minutes prior to the interview." Being on time is also an indication of your work habits. "This shows respect for everyone's time, reliability and discipline," adds Valerie Anderson-Migliore, a Technical Recruiter with Procom.

2. Dress to fit in

Are you interviewing at a start-up or a corporate company? The type of business you’re applying to will affect the business of choosing your outfit. Put your best foot forward by knowing the company's culture first. Check its website and social media profiles for an indication of the dress code, and then dress one notch above everyone else.  You don't want to be too high fashion though; 70% of surveyed hiring managers have admitted to dismissing a candidate within the first 90 seconds because they were dressed too trendy.

3. Smile

Thirty eight per cent of hiring managers also admit to dismissing a candidate who didn't smile or show confidence. "Smile and watch your body language," Daria Gourianova, a Client Services Associate with Procom advises. "It makes you look approachable and friendly before anyone even starts talking to you." A little smiling and make a big difference. 

4. Make eye contact

When you're looking the interviewer in the eye, it shows your interest in the conversation (and company), while also demonstrating your appreciation for their time. "Eye contact shows honesty, interest and would give the hiring manager confidence to introduce a candidate to the team," agrees Valerie.

Eyes have a habit of expressing our thoughts and feelings, and how can a hiring manager know you're excited about the opportunity if you're looking out the window? Don't get your candidacy dismissed because a lack of eye contact made you seem dismissive. 

5. Form a connection 

After you've made it past the initial intake, it's time to make a connection. It doesn't have to be something big, just a little conversation starter that will help set the vibe. For instance, he or she will likely begin by making small talk about your commute into the office (it's typical human behaviour). And this may uncover that you both live in the same area or take a similar route.  Isn't construction the worst on King Street right now?!  Or, hopefully your pre-interview research helped you uncover other commonalities. Maybe LinkedIn informed you that the hiring manager attended the same college or university as you.... GO GATORS! ( Do you see where we're going here?)

6. Listen

Sometimes candidates get so caught up in their practiced or rehearsed responses that they fail to hear the questions that are actually being asked. Or, they have a tendency to interrupt in an overzealous attempt to get a point across. Resist these urges! Remember an interview is still just a professional conversation, so make sure you pay attention to what's being discussed. Marnie Pertsinidis, an Account Manager with Procom advises, "Listen more, talk less!"  

7. Be enthusiastic- not desperate

There are fine lines in life and interviews: being confident without appearing cocky, appearing relaxed vs. "too cool," and demonstrating an eagerness for the role without seeming desperate for employment. Even if you really, like really, need the job, avoid verbally implying that fact.

8. Ask good questions

When you ask questions that are directly related to the conversation you're having, and don't just stick to the FAQs of job interviews, you're demonstrating your honest interest in the interviewer, the role and the company. Asking good questions is telling the the hiring manager that you share a common goal of adding value to the organization and they act as stepping stones to building the trust that makes a great team work even better.

9. Don't be overly buddy-buddy 

Of course you want to appear friendly and ingratiate yourself within the team, but even if you feel as though the interview is going swimmingly, don't dive into full on buddy-buddy mode. There's a professional line that's drawn in interviews, and the best candidates respect the boundaries. There's a difference between mentioning the new restaurant that opened up in the neighbourhood and asking the interviewer if they want to grab a drink there later. 

10. Use your personality

Robots (Applicant Tracking Systems) hold a place in the recruitment process, but they play no role in the interview stage, so don't act like one during yours! Although you should display a professional demeanor, let your personality shine as you discuss your skills and experience; when you're passionate about what's being discussed, it's impossible for others not to notice and want to be around your positivity.

Remember: even if you're having a bad day on the big day, stay positive and keep any bad attitude at home.

It's the wise thing to do. 

Are you working with a staffing agency to find your next opportunity? 

Apply to an IT job today!


by Procom

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