Interviews: Attitudes &
Why is one person chosen over another when both may have
relatively equal qualifications and experience?
Very often, a hiring decision is influenced by how the
interviewer/s feel about the person that they select. After all
of the testing, panel interviewing, assessment and evaluation it
can simply boil down to the decision-maker's gut feeling. What
influences that gut-feeling invariably goes back to the
attitudes and values that were expressed in the first and
subsequent meetings - first impressions count.
Employers not only want to believe that you can do the job and
have the knowledge and experience to handle the challenges that
may arise, they want to believe that you will fit the team. They
also want to see reflected in you those attitudes and values
that they feel comfortable with. An employer wants to reduce the
chance of friction between team members and will look for people
who harmonize with the workgroup's ethics and team spirit. In
addition, there may be a broader corporate personality or image
by which a firm is perceived in the marketplace and the hiring
manager may look for attitudes and values that mirror that image
in the marketplace.
How do you determine whether or not your own attitudes and
values are in harmony with those of the potential employer?
Ask what attitudes and values the interviewer feels are
necessary to do the job and fit the team. If they have
different expectations than what you have to offer in terms of
attitudes and values it is best to know this at the beginning.
You won't help yourself in the long-term by pretending to be
what they want.
You do not want to leave an interview with the employer having a
neutral attitude towards you. Your task in the first interview
is to sell yourself effectively. The general traits that most
interviewers from the inexperienced to the veteran look for is a
positive view towards one's work, co-workers, superiors and a
sense of energy or enthusiasm to achieve and accomplish goals. A
positive attitude is essential to making a good first
impression. The interviewer should be interested in having you
back for a second meeting.
It is helpful to remember that the first few minutes of a
meeting between strangers is a time when impressions are formed
and a sense of identification or being on common ground with the
applicant is decided. It is crucial to success that you express
your personality and character through the initial greeting
using your words, eye contact and positive body language, using
all three to convey who you are to the interviewer. Don't make
the mistake of being too aggressive thinking that you have to
take control of the discussion. Also, avoid being too relaxed as
this may be perceived as nonchalance or lack of interest. You
need to be yourself and confidently field the questions put to
you. You are presenting yourself to a potential buyer and you
need to know what you have to offer. It is a good idea to
practice with another person until you have a rhythm established
in how you explain your experience and qualifications. The tone
that you convey is equally important as the information that you
pass along to the interviewer.
You will make a positive impression if you tell the interviewer
what is important to you in building successful working
relationships with superiors and co-workers. It indicates that
you know what you seek in joining forces with a company and what
you are prepared to offer in return. Tell the interviewer how you
worked with other people and how you intend to conduct business
in the future.