Make us your home page

Brushing up your likability in the job hunt

Job-seekers worry about how they will be perceived in person by employers, and for good reason. Likability, charisma and — if you are ever so lucky — the "halo effect" play a major role in a job interview.

• Becoming more likable is the goal of many job-seekers, or should be, according to a Q&A with the author of a book called Likeonomics at The book's author, Rohit Bhargava, says likeonomics can be learned and comes naturally to some people, such as Bill Clinton. Bhargava advocates trying to connect personally with job interviewers. But it can be tricky: "Politics, religion and sports tend to polarize people. But you can share a passion without having to say, 'I hate everybody who doesn't share my views,' " Bhargava says.

• In this post at, consultant Robert Cordray warns employers to look for signs that they may be letting an applicant's likability get the better of them. Cordray says interviewers need to ask themselves whether they're being blinded by a "halo effect" — an aura of suitability, if not perfection — rather than true qualifications.

• Tips to "make the job interviewer like you better," at the blog, are sensible tactics for job-seekers, including: "Take an interest in the other individual," "Be confident in who you are," "Be honest." Writer Ken Sundheim, himself a recruiter, says, "A charming personality can't make up for a terrible resume, but when all things are considered equal, the individual who is liked better on a personal basis will get the job."

• Getting "behind the mask" is the recruiter's goal, says Matthew Gordon at "As charming as someone may be, it's the interviewer's job to see past that and hire the best person for the company." He suggests an initial phone interview: "Most people will be more charming in person than on the phone."

• If an employer offers you a job interview via phone, Skype or videoconference, you may be in trouble, according to this post at, a science and tech news site. It cites a study from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, where researchers found that "job applicants interviewed through videoconferencing come across as less likable."

Brushing up your likability in the job hunt 01/03/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 5, 2014 6:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours