What if the hiring manager doesn't like you?

What if the hiring manager doesnt like youLast week, I received this reply from Valerie (to the "HR spies" email):

Wow. It's time for self-evaluation. Am I likeable? I see why maybe I didn't receive the job. How does one learn to become the chameleon? You don't want to present yourself as stuffy, controlling or out of the loop.           

I appreciate the webinars, contacts! John, Lauren and everyone. Remember I'm hungry. God bless you and thank you.

Reading this email from Valerie made me realize that I need to clarify one or two important points I made in that "HR spies" blogl.

First, there's no such objective thing as likeable.

If a hiring manager or a colleague finds you likeable, that's their subjective opinion. It's more of a reflection of them rather than you. Yes, you should put on your best behavior during an interview. Yes, you should treat people with respect. Yes,you should present yourself as a warm and friendly person.          

Sometimes, though, you can do all these things and, for whatever reason, there's no chemistry and the hiring manager decides to pass you over. It's not because you're "unlikeable". It's more likely that you're simply not a good fit for their team's culture. That's okay. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. It doesn't mean you need fixing.

Second, being a chameleon isn't always a good thing.

Have you ever worked in a place where you simply didn't fit in? Perhaps they'd blast out loud music all day and it drove you mad. Or maybe it was a highly politicized environment that just didn't suit your style.

There's little worse than spending three, four, or maybe even five years of your life, working in an environment where you don't belong.

It tramples your confidence into the ground. It drains you of your passion. It makes you resent waking up early every morning to come into work.

In short, it turns a dream job into a "just a job".

So don't be in too much of a hurry to become a chameleon. It's better, in my humble opinion, that you stay true to who you are.

It might lose you a few "opportunities" in the short run. In the long run, you'll land a job in a role and environment where you'll excel and be happy.

That's my two cents, anyway.

By the way, when I designed Interview Success Formula, I didn't set out to create a process that works 100% of the time. Instead, I worked to perfect a process that works 100% authentically with who you really are, what your soul really yearns for, and what you as a professional really have to offer.


Because landing the job isn't always "success". You need to land a job in a team where you'll fit in, where you'll feel happy, and where you'll excel.           

That is "success".

If Interview Success Formula doesn't get you the job, you can rest assured that it's because you don't belong there (and it doesn't belong in your life), not because you weren't "likeable" enough.           
That's enough pontificating for one day.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.