What does a company want to find out about you when they interview you?
What are they trying to find out when they evaluate and assess you? In most cases, hiring staff or temporary workers starts out with a job description. Someone sat down and consciously thought of what skills and experience they needed on their staff.
As such, most firms hopefully start off by assessing for competence (I say “hopefully” because so many people report that they work with incompetent colleagues). Hopefully an employer has developed a standard set of questions that help them evaluate and assess skills competency for the skills that are needed.
But skills competence is only one element of what a company is assessing for. The remaining criteria they evaluate for all fall into the category of “soft skills”—hard to assess for qualities that differentiate one person from another.
There are five “C’s of which the first one is competence.
The second “c” that companies look for is chemistry. How will you fit into the firm and its corporate culture? This soft skill is derived from the interviewer’s interpretation of how you will fit in to the organization and how well you will work with your colleagues. I don’t like this variable because often what companies think of as “fit” can lead to bias entering the picture.
For many jobs, the objective is to hire a team player—someone who can work well with others in order to achieve an objective (I have never heard a client ask for someone who is a maverick—someone who is a lone wolf who refuses to cooperate with their colleagues or take direction from their boss).
The third “c” in the equation is character. Do you have character? Are you a character? Both? Most companies require character from their employees AND there are some jobs that demand that a person be a character too!
Self-Confidence is the next criteria (OK. Confidence is the “c” I’m counting here). How does your behavior inspire confidence that you are the solution to the problem and not someone else’s problem? Self-confident people ALWAYS do better than nervous frightened people.
The final “c” in the formula is charisma. Charismatic people always do better on interviews than non-charismatic individuals. When you think of the importance of charisma, think of Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Reagan, a conservative Republican; Clinton and Obama, liberal Democrats. Opposite poles of the policy spectrum, yet America loved them.
America’s view of them was not purely based on policy but on that certain something that they had– charisma. The innate ability to light up a room when they entered.
All of these qualities—competence, self-confidence, charisma, chemistry, and character—all add up to personal leadership.
It’s not like someone is going to ask you: “Are you a leader.” Yeah, I’m a leader.” “Good. That was the right answer.”
Every interview question you will be asked is going to have a macro and micro component to it.
The micro is going to be the specific answer to the question you are asked. The macro will be how is your manner and behavior congruent (or not) with their image of someone in the job. Your mannerisms are observed; your behavior scrutinized in an effort to see how you “fit” the job, too.
So, before your next interview, remember to program into your mind these other variables so that you can see yourself as an interviewer would.
© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2006, 2010, 2016