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The Empowered Job Seeker Series, v.14 - Rhonda’s Enhanced Understanding of How Human Emotion Plays a Role in Interviews

#careertransition #careertransitionprogram #careertransitionservices #fullserviceoutplacement #hr #hrcanada #hrmanagers #hrsupport #humanresources #jobsearch #outplacement #outplacementservices #theempoweredjobseeker Jun 05, 2024

Last week we introduced you to how we begin to coach and prepare our job search candidates for the all-important interview process, through the course of our full-service outplacement program.

We don’t need to be seasoned psychologists to be successful in the interview process but having a good understanding of how human emotion plays a role, is essential to one’s success. Take Rhonda story, for example.

Rhonda was a senior Human Resources Manager who worked for many years in the petrochemicals industry on the east coast.  When her company merged with another, she enrolled herself, along with some of her fellow employees, into our outplacement program.

Being an experienced HR professional and also familiar with the basics of our program, she was quite well versed in how to approach, and what to expect during a job search.  Her career goal planning and résumé didn't need too much work from us, but when it came to finding success during the interview process and landing a job, she seemed to struggle.  This was surprising considering Rhonda had interviewed hundreds of others over the course of her career.  But as soon as she found herself on the other side of the table, she felt like a fish out of water.

When the results of her first few, unsuccessful interviews were discussed with her program coach, Rhonda was generally defensive about her performance and was quite critical about her interviewers and how they approached the meetings.  However, as time went on and she kept having the same negative results, she was forced to look at herself in the mirror and take stock of how she was approaching the people who were interviewing her.

Rhonda was proud of her past accomplishments in HR and had wrapped her life around her career.  Being recognized as a successful HR Manager was critical to Rhonda’s ego.  However, as it turned out, was detrimental to the way she approached the interview process.

First, Rhonda was complacent when she met with HR leaders conducting her interview - she felt she knew it all and didn't need preparation like others would.  She failed to research the companies and the industries with whom she was meeting, and therefore had a hard time developing personal rapport and connection to her interviewers.  Many people, like Rhonda, don’t consider or simply are unaware of how vital rapport is when meeting a stranger for the first time.

Ultimately, the hiring managers and HR teams who interviewed Rhonda during those first weeks felt that she didn't take the job, the opportunity or the time spent interviewing her seriously.  She failed to show genuine interest in the job, her potential fellow teammates, and she did not nurture feelings of trust with those charged with the hiring process.  Rhonda was rarely invited back for a second interview, which was really upsetting and confusing to her because her career history and accomplishments were absolutely stellar on paper.

What Rhonda needed was to genuinely hear and take to heart our lessons in self-awareness, emotional intelligence and the importance of developing effective listening habits.  It wasn’t until she was forced to change her whole outlook, mindset, and approach to the process, did she start finding some success.

Awareness of Our Own Emotions, as well as Those of Our Interviewer is Key

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage our emotions in a positive way to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.  With the guidance of their CMS Program Coach, candidates like Rhonda are provided the opportunity to enhance their EQ awareness resulting in more empathy, better communication, rapport and confidence through the interview process.