Most, if not all, job seekers have been turned down by an employers because they were unqualified for a role at least once in their lives. This may seem like the natural way of the hiring world, but some new research is challenging the practice of making hiring decisions based solely on technical qualifications.
As it turns out, most bad hires are not candidates who lack the necessary technical skills, but candidates who lack the right attitudes and mindset. As more and more employers learn about this fact, they are becoming increasingly open to hiring candidates who have winning attitudes and not-so-perfect skills.
What this means for you, as a job seeker, is that you can be a superstar even if you aren’t totally qualified for a role. All you need is the right mindset.
To help you build that mindset, here are five traits and characteristics to cultivate in yourself and demonstrate during interviews:
A classic study of MetLife’s sales staff found that employees who passed an optimism test and a sales aptitude test (optimists) outperformed those who only passed the aptitude test (pessimists) by 31 percent. Even those who scored very high on the optimism test but failed the aptitude test were able to outperform the pessimists who failed the optimism test and passed the aptitude test!
The takeaway here is that, if you interview for a job that you are not qualified for on paper, your best bet is to demonstrate a relentlessly optimistic outlook on your ability to succeed. This could be all you need to convince a skeptical employer to take a chance on you.
According to The National Sales Executive Association, persistence is key in the sales field: 80 percent of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact with a potential customer. If you don’t have the right qualifications for a role, one of the things you can do to better your chances of being hired is show that you are goal-driven, determined, and persistent.
Entrepreneurial firms and innovative businesses are keen to hire people who are willing to take risks and move outside of of their comfort zones. If you can demonstrate these qualities to an employer, you’ll come across as a candidate who has the right success mindset for the role – even if you don’t have all the technical skills the job calls for.
4. Emotional Intelligence/Composure
A lack of emotional intelligence leads to more failed new hires than a lack of technical skills does. Candidates who cannot manage their emotions do not tend to make great employees, no matter how technically qualified they are.
If you want to come across as a high-potential candidate, you should make it a point to showcase your emotional intelligence to potential employers. It is especially important to prove to your interviewer that you can manage your emotions in even the most challenging of situations.
5. Comfort With Change
In today’s volatile world, agility, adaptability, and comfort with change are vital qualities. Employees who are slow to embrace change can be liabilities for modern businesses, while those who welcome change and see it as an opportunity to learn are prized in today’s talent market. If you want to impress an employer, show them that you are adaptable and “learning-agile.”
Of course, there’s no guarantee that these powerful mindsets will always be enough to land you a job. However, it is generally true that, all things being technically equal, the candidate with the better mindset is the candidate who will get the job.
Furthermore, even if you don’t possess all the technical skills listed in the job advertisement, you have a good chance of landing the job anyway as long as you showcase your attitude and personality. A success mindset can unlock doors that you never dreamed you could open.
About the Author
Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.
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