p>I received the question through Quora that I thought was quite interesting that I'm going to share with you. The headline is, "I always get rejected in the final or pre-final phase of interviewing. What am I doing wrong?"
Basically, he describes a situation where he has been rejected 9 times already. In the last round of interviews, he was asked simple questions like what his hobbies were he answers them to the best of his ability in a very soft manner. That's the way he explains it. I'm not making it up.
So he talks in a soft manner. He doesn't know what mistakes he's making. But, ultimately, he knows he is making mistakes because he is being rejected. In another interview, he was asked if he has any questions and he responded by asking, "Would you suggest any areas where I need improvement?" He was told, "Be confident." It begs the question of what is going wrong for him?
I suspect this is a cultural thing, even though I don't know the ethnicity of the person involved or of the hiring manager but the classic scenario is that the hiring manager is perceived as being powerful; the potential employee who is very junior is, on the power scale, much lower. The result is that that power differential becomes very pronounced with a potential higher speaks in a soft manner.
Imagine them speaking with you in an interview and I'm talking very softly and the interpretation of the soft manner was lack of confidence. Understand that there are 2 major things that firms look for.
In my original article on the subject, I described is Cx5=PL. I'm going to simplify it.
Hopefully, a firm is looking for skills, competence. After all, they are trying to hire someone to fill a particular role. What does this person know? What can they do that fits our job? Skills competence.
Ultimately, the next thing that they are looking for is being inspired that you are the solution to a need. Part of that is demonstrating your knowledge, but the 2nd part of it is in your matter. For example, if you are talking to them and look into it a side. If you are not maintaining eye contact. If you are speaking softly. If your hands shake is perceived as being gentle (obviously I'm not talking about hand the breaking handshakes). If your manner doesn't make people feel confident that you know your subject, you will be rejected, as much as you may know, that is the extra ingredient.
I always tell people not to ask a question like that-- where can I improve? You know where you can improve. You brought up the subject of being soft-spoken for a reason. Understand that that is a variable that is within your control.
It may take practice. It may take effort on your part. I will relay a story from Toastmasters, the international speaking organization but I always encourage people to become involved with. The reason I do is because they offer you an opportunity to practice your speaking. It may be later in your career that you may be asked to present something on a topic. They have a function in this section of the meeting that they call Table Topics where you are asked to speak for 1 to 2 minutes extemporaneously on the subject. You don't know what that subject is going to be until you are asked a question.
The notion that you can practice speaking is a great opportunity. You will be critiqued afterwards on that one to 2 minute speech that you gave.. They are very supportive. They always start off with praise for what you did, especially as a beginner. They want to encourage you to keep working on your perceived deficiencies and teach you areas for improvement. You will absorb these. You will practice. You will get better.
For the soft-spoken job hunter who believes that that soft-spoken Dennis is holding them back on getting a job or in advancing in their new job, it is important to practice speaking and speaking extemporaneously because you are just asked to do that all the time. After all, what you're doing is giving 30 second speech.
If someone is asking how the project is going, you are giving a 45 second to 1 minute speech. What you are trying to do is communicate ideas to people that allow you to satisfy their interests (if the rule their interests are either your boss or someone you're providing help to). Recognize that that opportunity speaking to practice speaking is so important for you in your career because, at the end of the day, even if you are hired, do you want to stay in the same job for the next 40 years of your life? 30 years of her life. It is a long time!
Like I said, firms want to be inspired that you can be the solution to their need. Practice speaking. Practice speaking up. Get to Toastmasters. Great story from their!
There was a man who spoke at the international gathering of Toastmasters. He was an individual who had a stutter up until the age of 4. It was from the Middle East (I believe Saudi Arabia). He gave an inspiring 10 minute speech that brought down the house. This is a tough audience at the international gatherings of Toastmasters.
Here's a man who didn't speak and wouldn't speak without a starter until the age of 4. Developmentally delayed and he was funny, he was tender and he clearly had control of a large group of people and he won.
You can achieve the same thing yourself. You can practice-- that's really what it involves. Practice. Practice getting better at what you do. Make the mistakes now when it is less costly.
Right now, you may not get your 1st job or your 2nd job because you are not well practiced. Do you want to keep doing the same mistakes? Of course not. You want to get better at things and not stay stuck in the same paradigm that you are in of being confined to certain types of opportunities because you don't perform well in situations where you are being judged by others.
Get yourself out and about. Practice speaking. Think in terms of ways that you can communicate that inspire confidence and get better.