Do I/We Like You?
Based on my experience, determining whether you are liked accounts for 40% of the hiring decision. Of all of the four basic questions that need to be answered affirmatively, this carries the greatest weight. No matter how good your skills might be, no matter how much of a risk you may or may not be, and even if working the money out is a foregone conclusion, you will never get hired unless you are liked.
Of the more than 100,000 face-to-face interviews that I have personally arranged over the past three decades or so, I’ve never had a candidate hired who wasn’t, at first, liked by the people doing the interviewing and hiring. This fact defies logic and common sense. With all of the business acumen and wisdom that companies and the people in them are purported to have, you’d think that the emotional aspects of liking someone would have a minimal impact.
But the truth is that hiring people is like “buying” anything else. People do it for emotional reasons and justify the rest. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve placed over the years who were hired simply because they were liked by the hiring organization. The number of extremely qualified, excellent candidates that weren’t hired because they weren’t initially liked by the interviewing or hiring authority defies logic and common sense.
Companies and interviewing authorities often try to find out if they like you in very odd ways. These questions can have a tendency to get under your skin. Oftentimes you could be insulted by them if you let yourself. You can never