Job hunting is not that different than dieting. Every couple of months there is a new trend. The latest development: employers are putting personal qualities first when hiring. In a recent survey of more than 400,000 students and professionals, 88% of employers said personality traits matter more than skills.
How do you brush up your social skills so that you’re in tip-top shape for a job interview? Here are three tips.
1. Talk to Strangers. It can be nerve wracking to chat up people you don’t know, especially if they’re in a position to hire you. But practice can make you much more at ease. Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Even if it’s a short exchange while getting coffee, the experience – repeated often — will help you learn how to talk to and engage others.
2. Master Body Language. The next time you’re in a situation that makes you uncomfortable, study how you are using your body to make yourself feel more at ease. Are you crossing your arms? Are you breaking eye contact? Make an effort to change. People will notice a difference when you change your body language from timid to confident.
3. Stay Curious. According to the study, employers love a candidate who is intellectually curious. When explaining how you solved a problem at a previous job, give examples of how you used your curiosity to fix it. This shows employers that you are not only an inquisitive individual, but that you know how to use it to your advantage, and most importantly, to their advantage.
What part have personality and culture fit played in your job interviews? Please share with us what you know!
Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Aidan Jones