Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn why you need to remove all dates from your resume
  • Next, you’ll hear multiple examples of interview scenarios where the most qualified person didn’t get the job
  • Finally, you’ll learn that candidates who excel at likability, persuasion, adaptability, relatability, and passion often secure job offers

I was having a conversation with someone trying to get their first corporate job. They’ve had 3 different interviews with 3 different employers and every time the employers rejected them.

In one case, they had gone to 4 different interviews. I asked what they thought the reason for the rejections were and the person said it was because they didn’t have enough skills. “How do you know?” I asked. Simple, they all gave me this feedback. I see, I said. Do you think they would tell you if they didn’t like you? I’m not sure they responded. If you were off putting or didn’t answer correctly, or came across as too technical or even too arrogant, do you think you would pick up on it? I think so, they said. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Hiring managers can do ten or more interviews a day. They’re pros. They’re not going to show you an indication that you’re doing poorly in most cases. Instead, they’ll smile and nod and reject you later. They’ll rarely tell you any reason besides you didn’t have enough skills or experience, or similarly, you’re under-qualified or even the mind trick of telling you that you’re somehow overqualified. These are the legal responses they can give. The truth is, they simply don’t like you enough, which is to say, they don’t trust you or trust you in the role.

In the competitive world of job hunting, it’s easy to assume that the candidate with the most impressive technical skills will always win the day. However, the reality is quite different. Often, it’s the candidates who are more likable and adept at selling themselves during interviews who secure the job offer.

Imagine two candidates applying for technical roles. Candidate A has extensive experience and excellent problem-solving skills but comes across as distant and unapproachable. Candidate B, on the other hand, possesses moderate skills but exudes warmth, a deep understanding of the company’s culture and values, and an approachable demeanor.

During the interview, Candidate B makes a strong connection with the hiring manager, who believes they will get along with the company’s current team members. Who is going to get the job? Candidate B, of course.

Consider another scenario where two candidates are vying for a data heavy role. Candidate X boasts a remarkable track record and has the exact skills the company needs, but lacks the ability to articulate their accomplishments persuasively. Candidate Y, while not as experienced, possesses excellent communication skills and confidently presents their achievements in a compelling manner; as in they talk about the most relevant experiences they have, though not perfect, and ties these experiences to the company’s goals. Who gets hired? Candidate Y.

Let’s do another one. Candidate M is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience but appears rigid and resistant to change during the interview. They’re also a bit awkward and clearly lack good communication skills. They shift in their seats a bit too much. Fail to make strong eye contact. And have delayed reactions to handshake prompts and smile only when smiled at first. Candidate N, while having fewer years in the field, demonstrates a strong willingness to adapt, learn, and embrace new challenges, has steady posture, smiles first and behaves in a relaxed by professional way. Who gets hired? Candidate N.

Okay, last one I promise – let’s drive home the point. Candidate C possesses exceptional coding skills but struggles to collaborate effectively. Candidate D, while not as technically proficient, is known for their ability to foster positive working relationships and effective teamwork. Candidate D is hired.

If you fail to connect the dots here then Candidate D, N, Y and B will not only get the job over you, they will be your boss if and when you do get hired.

Job candidates who excel at likability, persuasion, adaptability, relatability, and passion often secure job offers, even when they may not be the most technically skilled.

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