Michael Sterling

The Real Reason You’re Not Getting the Job


I don’t know how else to say it, but the real reason you’re not getting the job could be – you’re not likable. My intention is not to offend, but to educate.


I’m awe-stuck when a professional on a job hunt contacts me regarding a position and goes out of their way to be disagreeable. Maybe they don’t realize the error in their ways. Perhaps this is just who they are.


The Elusive EQ


What’s prompting me to write this? I had a recent encounter that truly underscored a dire lack of EQ that employers seek.


A candidate contacted me by phone. After applying to upwards of 25 jobs, this individual could not grasp why they had not been hired. It didn’t take me long to identify the issue.


In our conversation, this individual badgered and berated me. Not once, but multiple times.


The tone of voice was condescending, argumentative and impatient – even insisting that they would “hold on the line” while I made calls to secure job interviews. I ended the call politely. Quite simply, I would never present a candidate with such low EQ to any of my hiring contacts.


All that being said, the real take-away here is likability. You may have a stellar resume and exceptional experience, but if you’re not likable your career is up against a major roadblock.


Likability, compatibility and agreeability are all characteristics of a high EQ – Emotional Intelligence or soft skills. Much research has been done on the importance of EQ in the workplace. Soft skills don’t come easy to some. However, soft skills can be developed.


In an interview, hiring managers are looking for proven, solid soft skills. Those skills are true predictors of whether a candidate will be a success and whether a candidate will be a fit for the firm. Truth is – not having strong EQ is the real reason you’re not getting the job.


Six Necessary Soft Skills for Public Accountants


I work exclusively with public accountants. Technical skill is a must. Yet, in a field where tech-wizards reign, soft skills are weighted with equal, and even greater, importance. What soft skills are necessary? There are Six Soft Skills Every Public Accountant Needs. Know them. Develop them. Use them.


To win an interview and get the job – start with being likable. Build on that foundation and embrace the soft skills necessary for a successful career.


As a career coach and recruiter, I help professionals find career success. Connect with me on LinkedIn.


Interested in more career nutrition? Check out the Career Wellness section of the SterlingFreeman website.


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