I’m going to get straight to the point. For this exercise I play the role of the hiring manager and you the reader are either applying for a job or are stumping for a promotion. Here’s why I’m not giving it to you.
I don’t like you – That’s why you’re not getting the job or the promotion. I don’t really have to explain why I don’t like you other than to say my “gut” is telling me you are either not going to perform or you will leave my organization in a few months and I’ll have to spend $50K to replace you. So if HR asks me I’m just going to say you don’t fit in culturally. I’m not alone in this either. A recent survey shows that 88% of hiring managers choose personality over skills.
I don’t know you – I’ve got kids to feed. My success depends on your success and to me you are nothing more than a job board resume, which may or may not be factual, plus 30 minutes of ingratiating speech. I’m probably going to hire someone referred to me. Want to know why? Look at these figures provided by Dr. John Sullivan:
- Referrals are the number one source of new hires. I read elsewhere that in some organizations they account for 70% of new hires.
- Referrals are the number one source of quality hires.
- The speed of hire is much faster for referrals than for job board sourced candidates
- Referrals have a 46% retention rate after one year compared to only 22% for job board sourced candidates
This is why I’m hiring Kathy from Accounting’s brother-in-law. I know Kathy, I respect Kathy, and if she says her brother-in-law is the real deal than I’m probably going to hire him. Hiring him will cost me less time and money.
You don’t know me – Yes. I understand you are full of pep and eagerness but in five months my management style is so going to annoy the hell out of you. You’ll be griping to everyone about me. Shortly thereafter morale will plummet, right before you head for the door. I’m not a bad manager but your style conflicts with mine. Since Kathy in accounting already knows me then I’m choosing her candidate. Her brother-in-law will be less inclined to quit in 5 months because she has insight into my management style, not to mention that he knows it will look bad on Kathy.
Your appearance concerns me – This is similar to “I don’t like you” but really “like” has nothing to do with it. Whether it’s your obesity, your tattoos, or your intense smoker’s smell I’m thinking your unflattering appearance or your bad health are going to cost me money. For more on that visit my previous blogs.
You aren’t ready to lead – Recent studies show that “conscientiousness” is the key personality trait leading to success. This is the trait in workers that drives them to show up to work on time and do their work efficiently and effectively. This is a great trait we should all posses but the same studies also show that the qualities of conscientiousness are rewarded more over many qualities necessary for leadership. The consistent pats on the back you receive for your “can do” conscientious attitude does not mean you are ready for a leadership position. You apply to a position which you believe should be the next step in your career but you lack the assertive personality necessary for it and won’t feel comfortable in a leadership role.
Do you really want to lead or are you just as comfortable working away and receiving my routine praise? While you may be a hard worker are you ready to fire people, take criticism, and make tough decisions? Believe me, when I interview you I will know.
Let me sum it up for you. You need to have the right skills for the job but those skills won’t get you the job, they only get you through the door. After that it comes right down to do I like you and can you do the job? I’m going to decide in the first 5 minutes after you saunter through my door whether I like you and if I do then after that I’ll determine if you can do the job. In the end even that may not be enough if Kathy from accounting has recommended someone else who I can hire quicker and will stay longer.
Take heart though my friend for while you may annoy the hell out of me, you may hit it off when interviewing with my peers.
If you want even more interviewing help please check out these following articles: