Have You Got The X Factor In Interviews?
Does anyone remember Ben Haenow’? Probably not, but there are lessons to learn from the X Factor auditions which are much like attending job interviews. IT candidates can benefit from taking a leaf out of the reality TV book of charm.
Before looking at the skills required to succeed in job interviews, it should be made clear that having smouldering good looks, being able to hold a tune and having a bold sense of humour won’t always cut it in front of directors and top-level management. You’ll also need experience, ability and willingness – although a likeable personality will help.
Everyone has to walk through the door for the first time, make sure you do it confidently
When you step into the interview, be polite and smile.
How many X Factor contestants gush when they meet Cheryl or Simon for the first time, over-talking and not letting the interviewer lead? Unless they can back it up with an exceptional singing voice, it will be a quick return to the waiting area.
It’s no different in the boardroom where being confident not overbearing wins out.
Every year contestants get through the early rounds on just their good nature and sunny disposition. Judges are no different to employers here, everyone wants people on their team they can work with. Who goes for the sullen, scowling, moody-type?
However, while being likeable isn’t a crutch for lack of talent or experience, give a hiring employer the choice between equally qualified candidates and those displaying good character will always go further than those who don’t know how to crack a smile.
It is widely acknowledged in recruitment that it is far easier for a friendly, personable candidate to smarten up their technical skills than it is for someone to change their personality!
You also don’t have to convince everyone on the interview panel. If just one of them likes what they see, they can persuade other colleagues. Negativity or a perceived dislike of you can be misleading. Just like the X Factor, there’s always a Louis Walsh that can see your hidden talents, even if no one else agrees!
If you get a second interview, you will be up against others who have passed the first stage too
They liked what they saw the first time and might bring in other colleagues, perhaps even at a more informal location, to get a second opinion (just like the judges’ house).
Depending on how the company operates, getting through the first round of interviews can mean you have the right skills and they will now assess if you are the right person or they may want to formally test your skill set.
Whichever it is a good recruiter will have you well prepared for it.
Unlike X Factor, where contestants (even the youngest ones) like to admit this is their very last chance ‘to make it’, you won’t have put all your eggs in one basket. You will be asked what other interviews you have attended or have coming up.
Always be honest about them.
And remember, getting the job is only the first step. Now you have to keep it. Who remembers Steve Brookstein the first X Factor winner who failed to bring out an album or complete his first year in the job.
Sometimes the interviewer will also make a mistake. Don’t be that mistake!