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EP 901 There are many mistakes that people make when they interview for jobs. Acting like a robot by showing no personality is 1 of the big ones.

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Now we all know that companies mistakenly use "fit" as part of their hiring criteria. I say "mistakenly" because they really don't know what they're doing. I digress. Let me come back to you.

You want to take advantage of their behavior and, in doing so, not hide your personality. You see, one of the things that you don't want to do is just be another , "me-2 job hunter." By that, I mean just sell yourself on the basis of competence and not differentiate yourself in any way. You see, if you're like everyone else, and I must in all candor tell you that if you think you're the only competent one what you claim to be proficient at you're mistaken.

There are a lot of very competent people who do the exact same stuff that you do, some of who work for your firm. So, how do you distinguish yourself? How do you stand out and that is by revealing your personality.

Years ago I remember I was coaching someone who was number one or her class at a top grad school. She had exceptional grades, really the number one person in her master's program, her MBA program at this school. And she wasn't getting jobs. She had been on 10 or 15 interviews. It's been a while I don't remember the exact number. She did a lot of interviews and was getting nowhere. And we sat down together and I did a mock interview with her. And within three questions I said to her, " I've got the problem and she looked at me quizzically and said, " What am I doing which you figured it out in three answers?"

And the answer was, "Someone told you that firms only hire competent people. They hire people who are competent to do the job that they need to have done and hopefully they like them too because, well, they're going to have to live with them for years. That's their thinking.

So, they want to have someone in the group who will fit in well and they'll like to have around and you're only selling yourself on the basis of your skills. Loosen up. Relax. Let them like you as a person and you'll do better.

She called me a week later with three offers. She lightened up a lot and was happy with the fact that she'd gotten choices all because she became a human being and not an interview robot. That's really are when you only sell on the basis of your skills competence and professionalism.

So don't be a robot. Sell yourself. Be a human being. Have people know, like and trust you pretty quickly. And, from your knowledge, they'll learn to respect you very quickly as well. It'll help you stand out and this works so well, not just simply for job hunters. It also works extremely well for those of you who are self-employed.

There are a lot of vendors who can do the same thing that you do, right? In your market area, wherever it is, there are other people who do the same thing. Why do they choose you? Hopefully you haven't been on the race to the lowest price. If you have, that's a different conversation, but normally, there's something about this person that they zero in on. It's like they believe in you. That's the mistake that too many job hunters make. They don't let people connect with them as a human being.


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

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for 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 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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