With such a large pool of super talented candidates available for most top level positions today, the deciding factor in many decision makers’ minds is to hire the best person for the job, which does not necessarily equate to the most experienced or the best qualified candidate they have interviewed. So you ask what can make a seemingly less experienced or less qualified candidate a better choice. When I asked this question to a HR friend of mine she said “in my humble opinion it is The Credibility Factor.”
So I asked around a little more to see what other decision makers and HR types suggest you can do to establish a “Credibility Factor,” and here are a few suggestions I received:
1: Silence is Golden.
Many people feel the best way to show off their credibility when networking with others, when casually speaking to people in a business setting, and especially in a face-to-face or telephone interview is to speak more than the other person/s in the room. After all how will people find out how great you are if you don’t tell them?
This is all very true in proving that you may be the best qualified person or the candidate with the most experience for an interview or a job offer.
However, when it comes to building up your credibility as the “best person” for a job, I suggest you train yourself to be a better listener than talker. In the long run you will appear more credible by actively listening as others speak and asking insightful questions of others and listening to their responses.
Think of this as being at a cocktail party and two people in your field come to talk to you. The first person immediately wants to tell you how much you can learn form his vast experience in the field and the second person is more interested in knowing what you have to say about any given topic that comes up in discussion. I will bet that 85% of you may learn more from the first person, but if I asked you who you would prefer to be around and who you are more likely to want to befriend, work for, work with, or hire it would be person #2. The moral here is credibility is better built with your ears than your mouth.
2. Consistency trumps unpredictability.
One of my responders who hires sales/marketing people told me that a most important quality he looks for in a new hire is that the person be predictable. I asked him what that meant and how he could find this out. He said he asks people about their personal habits during an interview and discreetly confirms what they say is true. He asks questions like “do you catch the same train to work every day,” “do you have a consistent dress code for business calls”, and “do you frequent the same restaurants for client lunches or do you experiment with new places to eat with a new or established client.” His conclusion is that it is easier to judge future performance based on past history for people who have an established pattern of action, and that it is easier to come to trust and rely on a new hire if they are predictable. So try and be more consistent, if you are not there already. This is another way to increase your Credibility Factor.
3. Always tell the truth.
This should be a no brainer, but in a world dominated by grey areas instead of just black & white this can sometimes be a slippery slope. So my advice is to stick to the truth and let the chips fall where they may if you want to be taken seriously. After all if you lie – like so many politicians we read about, especially here in NYC – the truth is bound to come out sooner or later, and a lifetime of building up your credibility can be undone in less than 60 seconds.
4. Establish a reputation as a business “First Responder.”
Don’t you hate it when people don’t return your phone call, voice mail or email for days or weeks at a time? On the flip side don’t you love getting an answer to your question – even if it is not the one you want – ASAP?
Make it your business, especially in a job search, to touch base as with everyone who contacts you as soon as possible, even if they are pushy and annoying? The reputation you will develop is one of extreme credibility and I guarantee you this reputation will spread like wildfire.
There are several more good answers I got from my sources and perhaps at a later date I will get back to you in another blog post to complete this topic.
Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com/, and email him your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE resume critique.
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