Job candidates often are surprised to learn that the person with the most talent did not get the job – the one with the best attitude did.
Hiring decision-makers will be the first to tell you that a candidate with a positive attitude and the necessary technical skills often will surpass the one with extensive experience.
Job candidates who are most attractive to hiring decision-makers display a career-minded attitude rather a job-minded one.
The signs of a job-minded candidate are evident in the way they communicate during an interview, especially if they have a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.
Job-minded candidates also can be seen as passive. They may give the impression they expect an employer to take care of their careers rather than being proactive and making an effort to contribute and learn.
For example, job candidates easily can underestimate the power of interpersonal skills, particularly when they are interviewing for highly technical roles. In these settings soft skills may appear to be too touchy-feely.
Career-minded candidates shine because their communication style enables them to show concern for the employer’s needs.
They communicate a service orientation to the hiring decision-maker by reflecting a willingness to learn and serve.
There is a sharp contrast between a career-minded focus and a job-minded focus.
> Career-minded people are doers. They work because they want to. They show up well-dressed and serious.
> They check their personal baggage at the door, are proactive and focus on what they want to accomplish.
> They work effectively with other staff members and take to heart the phrase, “who is my customer?”
Job-minded people are clock-watchers.
> They work because they have to and are indifferent.
> They bring personal baggage to the workplace and wait to be told to act.
> Their minds frequently are on something besides work, and they create territories.
> Are more transactional than customer-focused.
When you’re interviewing, keep in mind that a career is built on discovery, and a career-minded candidate will look at each new project as a way to enhance skills and prepare for the next level of responsibility.
Candidates who take ownership of their growth and display a willingness to learn are important to hiring decision-makers.
Which are you?
How can you figure out if you’re being career-minded or job-minded? Ask yourself what gets you motivated in the morning.
If your response is that you dread work rather than looking forward to getting things accomplished, you might need to shift to a career-minded approach to work.
If you do, you will be a candidate of choice.