In all aspects of our lives, but particularly when job seeking, the power of good manners should never be overlooked. A simple “thank you” following an interview may just be your winning ticket. While this is not a complex topic, I still think it is an important topic of conversation, and today we’re going to look into why basic manners matter in the world of job searching… Think of this as another tool in your belt for taking on interviews with confidence.
The golden rule
Treat others the way you wish to be treated. It’s really that simple, yet I’ve heard countless stories of people suffering through spiteful micromanagement and unsupportive, judgmental working environments…
If I could wave my magic wand and remove all unkindness from the world, I wouldn’t hesitate. But we know that’s not realistic. And we also know that we will always come across people who are not kind, who do not use their manners, and who do not abide by the golden rule.
And that’s really ok…
Because we can’t control others. We can only control ourselves. We can only set a good example. It’s FAR more important to feel proud of our own actions than it is to understand the actions of someone else. We can’t control that. The quicker you learn this, the easier your life will become.
We all want to be ‘good people,’ and the easiest way to do this is to live by The Golden Rule. If you demonstrate this value during job applications and interviews, your potential employer is going to not only see your positive nature but also be able to envision how you will fit into their workplace.
Put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Treat them during that time how you would like to be treated, and your chances of success will be much greater. Now I’m not saying that ordinarily you would be unkind or purposefully rude in an interview situation…
But simply making an effort to ask them how their day has been, to thank them for their time, and to ask them what questions they have you… well, this demonstrates initiative, it demonstrates care, and it demonstrates good manners and kindness. Tick, tick, tick!
Know your worth and demonstrate it to others
Yes, this comes under the topic of ‘using your manners.’
Because you have unique qualities, including an inner kindness and compassion for others. We all have that, some just choose to let it shine more than others do! Finding that and demonstrating this quality to your interviewer will show them your true worth.
This is similar to the idea that soft skills are more important than hard skills (potential future blog on this topic!).
Hard skills are important in highlighting your professional skills, experiences, and abilities to future employers. But soft skills are what show your personality, values, and work ethic. Considering that culture fit is becoming the top priority for more and more employers, it’s critical that you show them why you are their missing link.
Doing this with kindness and a smile is guaranteed to leave more of an impression than your ability to ‘talk shop.’
Be kind, always
This goes without saying, and is relevant for both interviewers and interviewees.
Just remember this simple fact – everyone you meet is fighting their own battle. You don’t know what kind of day they’ve had, what their other interviews have been like, or why they are sitting there in front of you at this very moment.
A kind word at the beginning and end of your interview will ensure that your meeting is ‘sandwiched’ with positivity. A great way to make an impact and keep your name at the top of the pile.
Practice makes perfect
Some of these ideas just seem so simple and obvious to me, and probably will to you too. However, it’s necessary to have this conversation! So often interview nerves will take over your usual ways of communicating and expressing yourself.
This means that manners and kindness can unintentionally go out the window.
Interviews are a high-pressure environment for most (even the employer). Something as simple as demonstrating good manners, strong values, and obvious kindness has the potential to really change someone’s day.
Of course, none of this should be forced. We all know that depressing feeling that comes with an obviously fake “thanks for coming, we’ll be in contact.”
If this sort of overt openness and optimism doesn’t come naturally to you, take some time to practice before unleashing it at interviews.
Ask your barista how their morning has been when you pick up your coffee.
Smile when you make eye contact with someone on the street.
Say thank you to the worker who helps you check out at the supermarket.
If the thought of interviewing is inducing stress and concern… we’re here to help.
Our one-on-one coaching sessions are great for uncovering your true inner values and practising how to demonstrate them with some hard-hitting interview questions.
To find out more, click here to book in for a quick free chat with one of our consultants.
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