What Are Interviewers Looking for When Interviewing Candidates? | Job Search Radio

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Every company describes it differently but it comes down to a few things.

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I received a question from someone among the many I received in the last few days and the question reads, “What are interviewers looking for when interviewing candidates?”

I think of it as a math formula-- it's five C’s.

The first see is competence—the person should be competent by some measure that the firm defines in order to be hired however I want you to understand that not everyone is hired is competent so there, obviously, are other factors that come into play.

The second one is confidence or self-confidence really. Doze the person inspire confidence that they are the solution the need they have to have done.

So we've got competence and confidence. The next one is character. Do you demonstrate character on some of the behavioral interview questions? Do you come across as a character or some combination of the two?  Most firms want to hire people with personality and who have good character.

Chemistry is next. Will you fit into the group and, to me, this is the most problematic area because chemistry often is the place where bias shows.

So, for example, how are you like Ramesh? He's that guy who just does everything right. She reminds me of Beth. The issue comes down to is not really seeing the person for who they are. They are not really seeing who you are. They are working off of associations. This is pure fantasy on their part.

The next one is charisma. Charismatic people always do better than non-charismatic people and I can prove that by pointing out a couple of US elections--Obama versus McCain, Obama versus Romney-- Not exactly big charismatic figures running except for Obama. How about Clinton-Dole or Clinton-Bush or Reagen-Mondale or Reagan versus Carter? Clearly the charismatic person won in each of those elections even though their politics were very different. So you see charisma always comes into the equation.

So we’ve got competence, confidence, chemistry, charisma all this adds up to PL and that translates into personal leadership.

Are you someone who just appears to have self-direction that allows people to believe in you and to rely upon you.

To me, this is what companies look for.


Jeff 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 and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 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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