Attitudes & Values

The Insider's Guide To Job Search

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Interviews: Attitudes & Values

Interviews: Attitudes & Values

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.

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