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The Human Factor in the Interview- Part 1

You read through the job description and are feeling sure that this is the job for you.

You are technically qualified. The perfect match! You feel confident about getting the job.

But you don’t get the offer. What went wrong? You may have neglected to think about the “human factor” in the interview. You may have been taking some of these skills for granted, or are too modest to talk about them in an interview.

By changing your thinking – by thinking beyond the usual qualifications you have in the form of education and experience (knowledge-based skills)you will have a new view of other skills necessary to get the offer. These are the qualities that can make or break your chances in the interview. The skills that you may consider “soft skills.” Actually, they are not soft at all, they are the human factor (transferable skills and personal traits) required in any job.

If knowledge-based skills account for as much as 50 per cent or more of the essential job function; what accounts for the other 50 percent? The answer is your transferable skills, and personal traits. This is the 50 percent of the job requirement that could give you a chance; even if someone else is more qualified than you are.

This is the part of the interview that is more subjective. Unfortunately, this is where many candidates begin their spiral decent out the door.

Most job interviews last anywhere from an hour, or less; to an all-day or weekend event.

“How can someone get to know you in a one hour?” The answer is: “They really can’t.” This is why the person who sells him or herself best will be make the most memorable impression and will more than likely get the job offer. Your challenge is to be prepared to let the interviewer see who you are through your performance during the interview. This includes your ability to act and talk confidently about your past behavior, your accomplishments, and yourself.

The most important part of this category is to let the interviewer get to know the real you. When you hold back, they will not get a realistic picture of you and your personality. Try to remember that the interviewer is thinking: “Would I want to work with this person?”

People’s personalities vary, and for some people the idea of “telling it all” at the first meeting, feels very uncomfortable and dangerous. Others will tell too much and forget this is not a “date,” or opportunity to make a new best friend; it is a Job Interview.Do not underestimate your personality traits as a deal breaker when there are two or more, very qualified candidates.

That is not to say that if you are a quiet, reserved person that you should go into the interview cracking jokes. It is very important to be yourself.

Part 2

Carol Martin