With the unemployment rate still above 8% nationwide, landing a job is of the utmost importance for many and knowing how to interview is a key factor of being hired. Besides the basics of a good resume that shows off your talents and experience, the most important aspect of the interview is your ability to communicate and build an effective and successful relationship in a short time. Understanding what will press the success buttons for men interviewers vs. women may be your key success factor.
Quick Interviewing Tips
What to remember when being interviewed by a man:
1. Keep your answers short and to the point.
2. Talk in terms for results and past successes.
3. Use words like productivity, effectiveness, results, team.
4. Dress strong as applicable for the job.
5. State your point first, then give your reasoning behind it.
What to remember when being interviewed by a woman:
1. Start a little more conversational, but read your interviewer to see how open they are to conversation.
2. Talk in terms of relationships, team, loyalty, commitment.
3. Share stories how your past successes were focused around the success of others in the company, the clients, vendors, etc. Show how you believe in giving.
4. Dress applicably for the job but try to have some nice color accents.
5. Look into her eyes the whole time.
HR professionals are trained to interview and to be as objective and methodical as possible. However, they are men and women and can’t do away with their natural and learned gender perspectives. If you can engage them you are showing them that you are personable, easy to work with, conversational and a team player. Unless you are going for a highly skilled job that does not involve a lot of human interaction and teamwork, your social skills are extremely important.
Teach Me How to Be Liked
One of the hardest things to teach someone is how to form relationships with others. We tend to learn this when we are growing up by those role models around us. How did your family act toward each other? What were the communication habits of your Mom and Dad to each other, their friends, family, you, your brothers and sisters. We all pick up on these communication habits. Some of us make a conscious decision to not be the same way. Most of us repeat the same habits because that is what we know. Unless the communication styles you were brought up with really made a bad impression, we think of it as normal.
In the job interview we all come to the table with our own baggage. Our “scripting” from when we grew up and our every day experiences prior to the day of your interview. That includes the interviewer.
Make Their Job Easy
Your job is to make their job easy. You need to stand out from everyone else and show that you are the obvious choice. Part of the way to do this is to make sure you are not stepping on any gender communication boundaries. It is very likely, that for specific jobs they are looking for a male or a female. In fact, they may have already made that decision before you, a member of the “wrong sex” even meets them. They are not allowed to say it, but history and experience of workers in that position may dictate gender bias. Not to mention, that if the person interviewing you has to answer to a boss or bosses, they may have been told what gender they are to hire. This means that in order for you to get that person to put their job or reputation on the line for you, you are really going to have to prove yourself.
Are you thinking, “Well, that is not fair.”? Not to mention illegal. But, that is life Deal with it. Don’t whine about it, just make it happen. If you know you are the right person for the job, then BE the right person for the job. You need to prove to them you are the perfect and only candidate for that position.
As men and women, we have our gender perspective of the word, people and things. That’s just the way it is. The more we know how to overcome our natural deficits and biases the better off we are going to be.