It’s ironic—communication is one of, if not the single most, predictor of success, yet its importance is often understated. Research suggests, however, that it’s isn’t necessarily what we communicate, it’s how we communicate (Harvard Business Journal, April 2012) that matters most. The ability to engage others is the “IT Factor” and this unique quality is a hallmark of success.
Although the “IT Factor” is subjective and difficult to define—all things being equal, your ability to land a job may very well depend on it. This is especially true in a highly competitive job market—let’s face it, managers have highly qualified, talented candidates within close reach.
So on interview day, what can you do to set yourself apart from other qualified, talented professionals who want the job just as much as you do?
When it’s all said and done, what steps can you take to make your interview stand out as the manager’s most memorable?
Make it clear to them that you have that “IT Factor.” How? Well, it’s not something you are born with. I don’t believe it can be bottled and sold—but if it could, I bet it would be on back order.
Learning to engage others through communication is a skill unlike any other— mastering it requires practice and discipline.
The key to making a positive first impression when you meet someone is how you communicate with them. Even the most skilled technicians fail to make it past first round interviews, not because they are bad people, but because they are uncomfortable engaging someone they’ve just met for the first time.
You know the saying—you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Interviews are typically just that, an opportunity for you to make a good impression. Be prepared. Show them you have that “IT Factor” that sets you apart from your competition—candidates with similar qualifications they’ve lined up to meet. BE ENGAGING—use eye contact, listen attentively, be charismatic, and build rapport with the hiring manager. In the end, “IT” may be the one factor that sets you apart.
Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is a good read that hits on this topic.
Good luck, and go for “IT”!!!