If you’re looking for a new job, it feels like every move, every past action, and even future potential is under intense scrutiny. But one of my favorite studies (an oldie but a goodie) from a Harvard professor reveals that when it comes down to it, job seekers are primarily judged on two critical factors. That’s it – just two.
In a study spanning over 15 years, Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy revealed what shapes initial impressions. She unveils the core inquiries individuals subconsciously ask upon meeting someone for the first time:
- Can I trust this individual?
- Can I respect this individual?
Trust and respect. These are the immediate judgments following the lightning-fast assessment of one’s appearance. But once you start talking, they start checking how believable you are and the background that earns their respect. It’s often based more on the person making the judgment than on your actual attributes. Unfair? Absolutely.
So, how can you tip the scales in your favor?
- Adapt your energy to match that of your interviewer. Harmonizing your demeanor with theirs can bridge gaps in compatibility. If your energy doesn’t match, they might wonder if you’re a good fit for the team.
- Research your interviewer beforehand. Understanding their background and weaving connections during the interview fosters trust and respect.
- Be interesting. Share a short, engaging story that connects and grabs attention.
Remember, an interview is not an examination; it’s a conversation with strangers. Sometimes the chemistry clicks, and sometimes it doesn’t. If you find yourself disliking the interviewers, chances are the job might not be the right fit either. Trust your instincts.