Why do some people do it, no one likes a brown nose and interviewers recognize when someone’s trying to curry favor. They also know when someone is trying to anticipate and say what they think the interviewer wants to hear. Thereby, they are working harder to pretend to be something or someone they are not, rather than putting effort where it belongs, demonstrating their qualifications and suitability as an individual.
There are many reasons as to why people do this, for example, some may think they need to endear themselves to the hiring manager because, after all, how you fit or don’t fit into the company culture has a lot of bearing. In addition to your qualifications, no question, they consider the combination of both factors together. There is also another group who will attempt to sidle up to the hiring manager, hoping their personality and personal chemistry will somehow compensate for their lack of suitability. Of course most people simply think they should try to blend in to fit the environment.
When you interview, your time to shine with a hiring manager is finite, the clock is ticking; purpose-driven people understand this and make the most of it. Over the years I have watched and observed with great interest, much like a researcher observes a control group study, the behavior and posturing of interviewers and interviewees and later noting the results. While I cannot proclaim a scientific method because, after all, I’m a consultant and not a researcher, nonetheless the observations are always interesting.
You’re not there to become pals with your potential future boss. While personal chemistry and likeability are important for the cultural fit, any relationship beyond solely the professional aspect, much like loyalty, is time tested and gradually developed and never instantaneous. So don’t waste precious minutes attempting to do so. Your job, in a natural and likeable manner, is to simply impress upon the interviewer why you are their best choice.
I can tell you with full confidence that ass kissers do not receive job offers any more often than regular folk just doing their best to honestly represent themselves. If you’re not qualified for the job, no level of BS is going to get you the job – and if it does, it will be short lived as they seek to remedy their mistake. So my advice is quite simple and far less stressful, just be yourself. Indeed, go in with every intention to demonstrate why they should select you but do it according to the merits of your experience and qualifications. This way you’ll waste less time and be less impulsive trying to read and/or predict what you think they want to hear. And if you do all this and still get rejected, oh well that’s life; look for another company or manager who will value you as a potential employee.
If I sound as if I am being too flippant and less than sensitive to the plight of people struggling, I am not. But I know that whining about being rejected too long stunts your momentum and prevents you from staying focused on the task at hand. I also know that by pursuing more than one opportunity continues to give oneself hope and keeps you moving in the right direction, thereby reducing the contagion of desperation or panic. Furthermore, if you determine that you possessed the necessary qualifications and still did not make the cut and were rejected, never mind, if you are going to be damned, be damned for who you are and not for whom you’ve pretended to be. Be yourself.
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