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Can A Positive Attitude Beat Experience in Interviewing? |­­

Can A Positive Attitude Beat Experience in Interviewing? |­­

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This is an interesting question from someone.  The answer I gave may surprise you.


The question I received from someone basically translates into can positive attitude basically beat experience in interviewing? The question overall reads, "I professionally network, done informational interviews, and that feedback from interviewing, cover letters,, resumes,, research target companies, really practice interviewing for any flaws.. Basically, Jeff, can a positive attitude beat experience? The prior was setting the stage for an interview; I was just curious if you have ever seen it?"

It is my answer: yes. The reason I say that is when I look at how firms evaluate there are different criteria that they use. Competence is the 1st 1. Self-confidence. Character. Chemistry. Charisma.. All of these lead to personal leadership.

I know from personal experience that when people report to me, sometimes they tell me about individuals that they are working with who are absolutely incompetent. They are awful at what they do.. It begs the question how did this individual got hired in the 1st place! Someone like them. Someone really like them and was willing to give them a chance. Why did they like them? There are a million reasons. It doesn't matter. Ultimately, personality one out.

I also want to say bad personality loses out. No one wants to hire a depressed individual. No one wants to hire an antagonistic arrogant person.. There are a lot of negative personality types as well. Personality is an attribute that firms pay attention to.

I also want to say that I'm not a supporter of companies interviewing for fit.. My bugaboo about this historically has been no one is measuring internal staff using objective measures to identify their personality characteristics and trying to use objective measures to blend the personality of an external resource with their existing internal staff. I'm not a big believer in fit. I'm a believer that most interviewers make surface level comparisons.

"They kind of remind me of…"

"I like them!"

Nonsensical things like that and they take action based upon it. It's why statistically, firms/hiring managers have buyers remorse certainly after 18 months of someone joining more than (I believe the number that I saw was) more than 65% of the time. From that statistic you can tell that they are certainly doing something wrong. Part of that is projecting personal attributes onto people who are on their best behavior. They are doing it while they themselves are on their best behavior.. As a result, no one is being real with one another. Most of the time. Almost all of the time.

As a result, each of you is presenting affection and making decisions based upon it. How could this possibly ever work out?

Again, I am not a big believer in fit , but your question is, can a positive attitude beat experience in interviewing. I'll answer that question with,, "Absolutely!"


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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