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human element and hiring

3 Behavioral Tips Candidates Must Remember When Interviewing

We’d all like to think that the interview process is fairly straightforward: the person most qualified for the job via fit, skills, culture, etc. will get the job.  We all know however, that this is not always the case, and even with assessments built into many employers’ processes to help guide decision making, the human element still comes into play when determining who ultimately gets hired.

And, let’s face it, as humans we’re fallible, irrational, and sometimes downright confusing in how we make decisions. When interviewing for a job, it’s important to remember this because it can be the difference between being a great candidate in a line-up and being the one who stands out and gets the job.  Here’s three tips around human behavior to keep in mind that can help you land the job.

1.       Interviewers have to buy you, as a candidate, before they buy from you.

If you haven’t figured it out, the best interviewees are people who understand the basics of sales.  You are essentially selling yourself both on paper and in person.  Sitting back and thinking that the interviewer knows all they need to from your resume doesn’t cut it—nor does the interviewer know the real you.  They have to buy into you before they make the decision to consider you fully for the role, and in order for them to do that, you have to sell yourself to them.

The interview is not the time to get overly humble or shy about your achievements and what you stand for (but it’s also not the time to get too cocky.)  If you’re not sure of how to go about selling yourself, think about times when other people have been successful selling to you.  Trust is crucial, being likable is also important, and learning how to connect with others is a must have skill.

2.       Hiring Authorities are sold by your conviction rather than by your persuasion.

Speaking of selling yourself, it’s good to remember that it’s not so much your ability to persuade as it is your ability to have others believe in you as much as you do.  Waiver in defining your abilities or strengths and those listening will lose faith in you too.  If you’re unsure of yourself prior to going into the interview, fake it til you make it! Practice positive affirmations about your abilities, who knows you might start believing them (and acting them) if you say it enough.  Convince yourself first and that conviction will do the job of persuading hiring managers to believe in you.

3.       People accept you and hire you emotionally first, then justify their logic for making that decision later.

Did you know that the majority of interviewers make a decision to hire you within the first 5-10 minutes of an interview?  Some research even goes further to state that this decision may be determined within the first few seconds of an interview.  Sometimes its intuition, sometimes it’s following a gut feeling, and sometimes they liked you so much on paper, that all they needed was a visual confirmation that you’re really human.

That’s why first impressions can be so important.  After an interviewer has made the decision to hire you, the rest of the interview is spent justifying their decision, so don’t slack off by any means. Utilize your time wisely to reinforce your candidacy.

What other irrational human behaviors affect hiring decisions and what tips do you recommend to overcome them?

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