Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. ~Albert Einstein
Successful job candidates do three things better than anyone else: They send a clear message about how their qualities match the employers needs, communicate those messages clearly and come across as likable. When you walk in the interview door, you need to be prepared to answer the key question: ”Why should they hire you over other candidates? Your communication must support, defend and compliment this main message.
Use "strategic empathy"
The key to being likable is showing genuine interest in the other person. When you show sincere interest and concern for another, it makes you more likeable. This holds true in all relationships and certainly applies to winning over a prospective boss. Being a good listener isn’t only about being quiet. It’s about hearing the other person’s perspective and reflecting on it so you can show empathy by offering your skills to help.
Gain a competitive edge in your interview
The ideal job candidates come to interviews prepared to answer what you know about the organization’s culture, why would you fit in there and how you could contribute to the culture?
Can you use your skills to fill a void at that firm?
What do you know about the hiring manager’s biggest challenges? How can you demonstrate from your previous accomplishments that you could help them tackle their problems?
Show you’re an enthusiastic learner and a self-starter
Prepare an example that demonstrates you’re an enthusiastic learner and passionate about all you do. Your example should show your eagerness to pitch in and find areas where you could be of use. It should also show you ask good questions, show diligence and strive to find the right balance between what to push yourself to do on your own and when to ask for guidance.
Use simple and clear language and offer help
Good communicators are also astute listeners. They actively seek to understand the other person’s needs. They select their words carefully, offer direct answers and speak in a non-threatening, supportive way. A persuasive style comes from finding commonality rather than from bullying or insulting. Strong communicators address questions directly and don’t interrupt or ramble off topic. You become more likeable when you show genuine concern for your audience and when you choose a message that addresses their needs in a caring and succinct way.
Write your own mock recommendation
The process of writing your own letter of recommendation could actually help you gain clarity on your strengths and how they apply to your perspective new employer. Showcase a clear story about your personality, skills and abilities that demonstrate why you’d be a great fit for a certain job and how you could be an asset to their firm. Before each interview tweak your story so it applies to that employer’s job description and pain points. Highlight only those accomplishments and personality traits that would make you an asset to that particular team.
Writing your own letter of recommendation will deepen your appreciation for why you are (or in some cases aren’t) the ideal candidate for a particular job. Even though you won’t be sending your own recommendation out to employers, crafting it will force you to think more specifically about your employers goals and how you could help the firm advance them. You may also learn where you have gaps in knowledge, skills, and education or in personality traits that would make you a good fit for that job.
Doing your research prior to an interview should boost your confidence in your interviews. Prepared messages that show genuine understanding and concern for the employer will display conversational competence and emotional maturity. Developing these strong skills takes practice and could tip the scale in your favor to get hired.