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Confident vs. Knowledgable in the Job Search


Robby

Imagine that you were hiring someone to build you a house. It’s a big project. It’s going to to cost a lot of money. If they do it well, you and your family will enjoy the home for years to come. If they do it poorly, it will create all kinds of problems—it might even have structural issues and end up hurting someone.

So what do you look for?

New Home Construction
© Flickr User Great Valley Center

If you were really building a home, you’d want someone who was experienced. Who was truly an expert in that field. You’d want to see references, maybe talk to past customers. You’d ask for photographs of houses they had built before. You’d look them up online. As a big investment, it would matter to you.

Of course, their confidence would be important, but probably not nearly as important as their actual ability and knowledge. You want to hire someone who knows what they are doing.

Think This Is How The Job Hunt Works? Nope.

As a candidate for jobs, you are probably mostly focused on these kinds of criteria. You ask yourself questions like:

  • What am an I expert in? What do I know how to do well?
  • What experiences have I had? How might these be valuable to an employer?
  • What kinds of problems can I solve? Am I able to be useful and effective?

Hiring managers might say they are looking for these things. And in truth, they are what most people generally say is important. But it’s not what tips the scales most of the time.

Instead, what matter is confidence.

Communicating That You Know What You’re Doing

If there is one universal across virtually all companies, it is stress. The reason that companies are hiring is because of stress: they have work that needs to be done, and not enough people to do it. You may be interviewing for a position that is now vacant, or for a new role that was created to meet demands that have recently emerged. But in any case, it is stress that is leading to your interview.

That means your number one job is to relieve the interviewer’s stress. You need to give them the comfort that you can do the job and take care of their pressing needs. It might seem like this is about expertise, experience, and availability. But first and foremost, it’s about confidence. If you speak with strong, capable, and yet relaxed tone of voice, if you make eye contact, and if you are generally comfortable—you will impress upon them that they don’t need to be stressed.

So remember: all of those other things are important. But what is most urgent is that you are comfortable in the interview. If you reduce their stress, things will go well.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, March 21 2018 » Corporate Culture, Self Development

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