Opinion: In job interviews, it’s not what you know, it’s who you are!

In interviews, it's not what you know, it's who you are!

You’ve prepped for every possible technical question.

You have impressive accomplishments memorized.

You feel like a well-oiled knowledge machine ready to demolish this interview.

But you may be focusing on the wrong things entirely…

The reality is that interviews are far more about assessing personality fit than drilling skills.

Your interviewer cares way more about HOW you show up and if they can see themselves working with you daily.

The Technical Trap:

Of course skills are still important – you need to meet the basic qualifications.

But beyond that, diminishing returns quickly set in.

An hour-long grilling on niche technical trivia doesn’t determine if you’re the ideal hire.

What companies truly want are well-rounded team players who gel with the existing culture.

After all, they’ll be spending more time with you than their own families!

The 3 P’s they prioritize:

  • Personality – Are you energetic, charismatic, a little quirky maybe? Better than a dull robotic demeanor.

  • Principles – Do your values and work ethic align with the company? Cultural fit is huge.

  • Presence – Can you command a room with confidence, poise and great communication skills?

How To Highlight Your Intangibles?

  • Share anecdotes that convey desirable traits (creative thinking, grit, teamwork etc.)

  • Ask insightful questions about company culture and values

  • Smile, make eye contact, be authentic and conversational

  • Relate stories showcasing passion for their product/mission

At the end of the day, interviewers are looking for people they simply want to be around daily.

Unique personalities who can contribute AND enrich the workplace environment.

So prepare your skills of course, but spend even more time polishing how you present the best version of yourself.

With the right attitude and rapport, you can make up for technical gaps.

But an arrogant know-it-all act will likely fall flat.

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