Be “Likeable” – Get Hired!


I just read an article where the author, Bernard Marr, described what he called the “likeability factor” and the importance of being “likeable” as a prerequisite to becoming an effective manager, leader. .

It occurred to me as I was read thru Mr. Marr’s advice, that the “keys to likeability” are the same factors that often differentiate between job candidates in the hiring process. My company, the PACE Staffing Network arranges 100’s of interviews between candidates and employers each month…but not all job candidates are hired. We often see our employer clients hire candidates they consider “likeable”, even if those candidates were not as skilled or experienced as their less “likeable” counterparts. IOW, when it comes to getting hired, candidates who have put effort into being more “likeable” in their job interviews are often the candidate’s who get the final nod.

The following are attributes that Mr. Marr considers part of the “likeability factor”

* A Positive Outlook – focusing on opportunities not problems. If you were hiring a business developer, which of the following responses impresses you more? “When my team lost one of our largest clients, I knew it was going to be really difficult for me to get my career goals met in this job.” or “When my team lost one of our largest clients, I looked for ways to demonstrate my business development skills” . it is important for job seekers to demonstrate their ability to see opportunities, and not get bogged down in problems.

* Internal Confidence. Likeable people have nothing to prove, and are comfortable describing both their strengths and weaknesses as employees. They NEVER put others down so they can look good and in fact will find ways to affirm, not criticize, others. “My boss often talked to me about my ability to see situations clearly so that our team could focus on the right solutions. I consider myself a good analytical thinker, but also enjoy being challenged by team members who see things differently.”

* Engaged. There is a natural tendency to like people who act like they enjoy interacting with us, want to get to know us, and will stay engaged during and after our interaction with them. In an interview situation, “likeable candidates” are easy to talk with – they answer questions fully, elaborating on their responses where needed to keep the conversation flowing. They will also follow up every interview with a personal note affirming their interest in the job and growing the relationship their interview started.

* Responsible. Likeable people do what they say they are going to do, when they say they will do it. Arriving at a job interview on time is a small thing, but a big factor in “likeability”.

* Judgement Neutral. Likeable people spend little time judging others. In fact while they may have strong views on a variety of topics, they give others space to have different views. In a job interview, candidates who bash a former employer, boss, or coworker, accomplish little other than making themselves less “likeable”

The good news is that according to Mr. Marr all these likeability factors can be learned and we believe can be used by job candidates in the interview process. The pay off for this effort can be significant. Whether you are the most skilled or experienced job candidate the employer will be interviewing is often difficult to predict, but If you can focus on being the most “likeable” candidate , you have a strong chance of being selected.

Jeanne Knutzen


This article was written by Jeanne Knutzen, President and Founder of the PACE Staffing Network. Helping job candidates get selected for the jobs they want, is one of the many services PACE regularly provides to Seattle job seekers. To check out the jobs represented by PACE, visit us at or e mail us at

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