In a recent article by LinkedIn Influencer Bruce Kasanoff titled “Rule #1: People Hire People They Like,” the point is made that perfect qualifications rarely land you that dream job.
“If a hiring manager doesn’t like you, they are highly unlikely to hire you,” writes Kasanoff.
It seems so obvious, but many candidates don’t make this connection during the hiring process. Why? Often because we rest on our technical skills, experience, and education to land us the job we want. It fits us. We should be hired, we tell ourselves.
But is that enough?
Kasanoff says hiring managers will shut the door every time on interviews with candidates who are “aloof, entitled, clueless, distracted, obnoxious, offensive, and entitled.” (Entitlement is listed twice, on purpose.)
Managers “are tired beyond words of candidates who think they deserve a job because they have checked off all the qualifications. On paper, such a candidate is perfect. In person, they are insufferable.”
Think back to interviews you’ve had in your career. Do any of these negative qualities describe your interaction with hiring managers? Could you have changed your demeanor or your reactions in ways that would have connected you better with that manager?
Now think about your current work environment. Do you observe these negative soft skills on display in your office? How much are these negatives distracting you, your boss, and your team from doing the job you were hired to do? Is anyone’s job in jeopardy because of a pattern of negative behavior or communication?
Let’s face the facts about any workplace. No employee is perfect. No team is perfect. No boss is perfect. We’re all going to show the chinks in our armor—those flaws that define us as human. But accepting our flaws must not lead us to complacency. If we want to get noticed (for our great qualities), we’ve got to be willing to develop those soft skills that will have a positive impact on our relationships.
So how do we overcome these negatives?
As Kasanoff clarifies, don’t overdo it. Don’t try to be the hiring manager’s buddy. Don’t be artificial in your attempts to connect. Just connect. Be human. But be as good as you should be. Communicate qualities that demonstrate your genuine personable nature, such as “emotions, biases, preferences, feelings, gut instincts,” and other characteristics that when expressed in the positive, get you noticed by that one person who sees not only that you are technically qualified for the job, but you are also a quality individual who will be an asset to the company.
It’s all about relationships. Negative qualities destroy relationships. Positive characteristics build relationships—and get you noticed.