Crazy right? Now that I have your attention, let me explain.
In my 19 years in Human Resources, on top of being a full spectrum HR Partner and Coach, I have hired almost 1000 people with over 90% retention. So what does nice have to do with this?
Well, I expect everyone I hire to be “nice”. What seems to be missing with many candidates is that the interview is not about you, it is about your ability to contribute to the team/project/company. What I mean, when there is a job opening, there is a business need that must be addressed. Employers are always considering; how long it will take the new hire to be productive and making/saving money, how much training is involved, do you have the technical skills, and will you fit into the team. It is ALL ABOUT BUSINESS; we expect you to be nice.
When I ask “why should I hire you?”, I hear “because I don’t know when to quit,” “I get along with people,” “I look forward to the training,” blah blah blah. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this!
What I want to hear is how you can add value to the business with your skills/experience, save time in training and get you profitable for the company quickly, over everyone else I have interviewed. How you are the business solution!
Some suggestions to this question. Again think of the “pain” points a company faces with the role being vacant or what would be a high desire for a productive employee? Show how hiring you will ease that “pain” with specific examples.
Engineering – “You should hire me because I am superb at X. I have excellent Software experience in X. I interface with the clients and have earned new business because of my relationships. I know cradle to grave engineering in my discipline as well as X. I have been told I am super at X by my manager. I will be billable in short order.”
Finance – “Hire me because I understand X, X, and X very well with my years of experience and can do this for you too. I am consultative with my clients by providing the latest in advice and tax solutions. I have implemented successful new processes at my past company that saved X. I mentor and train fellow teammates.”
Administration – “I am comfortable wearing many hats and can recognize priorities. I am coachable and take direction. I look for ways to save time/money. I type X wpm. I am an expert in excel. I have grown in responsibility in all my roles, and I will be able to hit the ground running.”
Show me how you are different. Illuminate why I should pick you.
Think of what may be concerning for various industries and educate the hiring manager how you are not that. For Warehouse, concerns may be – punctuality and safety awareness. For Engineering, knowing when to defend your design and when to concede into someone else’s design with no ego. For Administration, companies are concerned with longevity, commitment, and eagerness to take on new tasks.
Once you are hired, you can show how you earned the job because of your technical/soft skills – but also how nice you are to work with!