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EP 1705 There is an extremely large variable that most job hunters forget when they are interviewing for a position. In this video I use presidential elections to illustrate it.

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So why should they choose you when they interview you?

Why should you be the one that, when they are finished evaluating all the different people, you're the one that they scream for?

For now, I want to lay the stage for you and say there are a lot of very competent people who you are competing with. You're not the only one who can do this job. But the question is, "are you the only one who can do this job in their environment?" Wt hat's going to make you the chosen one?

I want to look at one of the examples that we can look at successfully competed through a lengthy interview cycle and that's called presidential politics. No, I'm not going to be talking about the current election. I want to go back in time and look at the election of Barack Obama.

Sen. Obama ran for office, not as the most experienced possible candidate; clearly, Sarah McCain was. But Sen. Obama ostensibly had a year in the Senate but most of that time he was out campaigning. So, he didn't have any nati experience he. He didn't have any foreign policy experience or economic experience. He was a state senator in Illinois who often times voted, "Present." He had a background as a Harvard-trained attorney who practiced for a while. You've heard the story of him being a community organizer.

What qualified him to be President of the United States?

Perhaps qualifications are not the key ingredient when Americans elect candidates. Since that is true, we can still look at why he was the one that was chosen over someone who is clearly more experienced than he was.

What some people will say is, "I like his politics and policy ideas better than the other." I don't buy that. Borrowing that an unjust point to the fact that statistics throughout the first five or six years of his presidency said so many Americans disagree with his politics. How does this work?

The answer is a good instruction for you as someone who is interviewing and that they like them personally, even if they disagreed with him and they voted for because they liked him. Even as we look at the current election, the way that campaigning is being done is, " Vote for me. You hate that guy and you should dislike that guy a lot." Not mentioning names. It's irrelevant to the equation because the key missing ingredient for most of you is that you are only selling yourself for your competence . . . and competence is only one variable in the equation. There is still likability (sometimes firms refer to that is chemistry I'll call it likability because that's the marketing term, the advertiser term used for it).

You want to appear likable to the audience. That sometimes can get tricky because fit, chemistry things like that are rife with the opportunity for bias.

I work on employers about that all the time but, for you as the job hunter, you cannot come across as adversarial. You cannot come across as being "professional," unless that's the quality you believe that they're going to like. Most of the time, a smile, some personality, some off-the-cuff remarks that don't sound scripted, where you can connect with the interviewer, goes so far in getting hired.

So you can learn this lesson from presidential politics. Likability is a huge variable and why people are chosen. By the way, if we look back in time, Gov. Clinton became President Clinton because people liked him more than the incumbent President. Ronald Reagan, at the time he ran for office, he was not the Ronald Reagan that became the symbol of the Republican Party. He was someone the people liked that made himself likable in the debates with certain off-the-cuff remarks that he made that Americans related to

Look for ways that people will enjoy you, like you and then want you to be around them more every day


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1700 episodes and “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was named a Top 10 podcast for job search. is also a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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