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The Likeability Factor and Being a Good Fit
The two most important assets during an interview is likeability and being a good fit. Likeability and fit can trump everything--your knowledge of pedagogy, your qualifications, everything. Unconsciously, interviewers often decide at first sight whether they like you. Still, over the course of the interview, interviewers can change their opinions in either direction. If they really like you, they may even overlook your less-than-satisfactory responses to some of their questions. So, what can you do to get them to like you?Ask yourself, “What is it that makes me like someone when I first meet them?” If you’re like me, I like people who are friendly, relaxed, humble, pleasant, sincere, and respectful. We probably also like people who enjoy and exhibit good humor.
Researchers indicate that being likeable bears little relationship to appearing attractive, intelligent or assertive.
Of course, there are also unpredictable elements, such as a resemblance to a highly respected friend or colleague. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the uncontrollable. But, here are a few things you can do:
How do you demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the school-community? First, you must research the demographics, the socioeconomic status, and what the community appears to value. Check out their website. Look at the photos; read the local newspapers (you can usually find on-line newspapers); visit the community; determine the kinds of activities they celebrate, music, the arts, athletics. In responding to the questions, try to resonate with their values and interests by matching your background and values to theirs.
Before walking into the room for your interview, your mantra should be: “Be likeable and show you’re a good fit!”
Larry Aronstein coaches school leaders and aspiring leaders in how to get their dream jobs. Learn more at www.larryaronstein.com