Attitude, not aptitude, gets you the job

sunburst-1244029-mI am writing to you because I would like to ask some tips for a successful interview. I’m already 25 years old but still jobless. I wonder why my previous job applications were turned down. Is it because I’m not qualified or simply because I failed in the interview? These events have somehow depressed my self-esteem considering that I was a consistent honor student in my school years. Please help me. – Still jobless at 25

This reader’s experience shows that for some companies, there are other more important considerations in hiring that a good academic record. More and more human resource people are following the rule “Hire for attitude, not aptitude.” This means that their first consideration is the attitude of the applicant, and not so much if he or she is highly intelligent or smart.

Good old values

Employers are now discovering that what makes a person successful at work is not so much academic brilliance but the good old values and attitudes of hard work, eagerness to learn, respectfulness and courtesy. In fact, many times, a brilliant school record may prove to be a hindrance since highly intellectual people tend to exude an air of arrogance and impatience, albeit unintentionally and unconsciously, that does not sit well with interviewers.

I also know of many intelligent students who fail to land jobs because they did not have the discipline for daily work or were too choosy in the type of work they want to do. They end up like all the other jobless people who are disadvantaged because of lack of education. This situation is really so ironical.

Happy thoughts

In situations like this, my advice is: think happy thoughts during an interview. In the classic tale of Peter Pan, Wendy was advised to think happy thoughts so she could fly. So should interviewees. I am a firm believer in the saying that “thoughts are things.” What you think becomes reality.

A proof of this statement is the newest contraption in mobility, the Segway Human Transporter, a two-wheeled vehicle that’s operated by batteries and responds to the slightest body movements to steer it in the desired direction. When the rider thinks of going left, the body reflects this thought unconsciously, and this vehicle picks up on the slightest body movements and goes left. This shows how connected our thoughts are to our body language. Thus, if you have low self-esteem, have a negative view of the interviewer, are worried and anxious about the interview, feel defensive about your shortcomings, all these will come out in your body language that may be received and interpreted as negative attitude by the interviewer.

Body language is very important in face-to-face communication. Research has shown that seven percent of what is received in communication comes from words or verbal communication, 38 percent from tone of voice and 55 percent from the nonverbal expressions of the communicator.

With all these in mind, it thus pays to be aware of your thoughts, which easily translate into body language that projects your attitude. To make things easy, just remember, optimism is best when looking for a job. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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HR professional

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Posted in Learning Zone

Hi, I am MyT! Welcome to MyTrabaho!


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