U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 08-19-2012, 04:22 PM
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,337 posts, read 54,765,930 times
Reputation: 66883


Originally Posted by Jobless and Broke View Post
OK, I finally got a Human Resources person to tell me why I was not hired into a job that I put so much effort into the application process. I put together lots of supplemental information; tried to create a link between the job description and my background and studied lots of interview books.

So here is the reason they said I was not hired: Likability. They did not like me.

Is this a good reason? I was hired to work not put on a coffee party, right?

I was interviewed for an Office Manager job.
There was an article on just this in my Sunday newspaper today. They called it developing your "soft skills".

Whether it's a "good" reason or not is immaterial. If they don't like you, they aren't going to want you in their office. That's sort of a no-brainer. It doesn't mean you have to be Mr. Superfriendly or something, but you do have to make some sort of effort to appear to be sociable.

My former boss told me of a coworker they had, back in the 80s in the earlier days of IT (when the department was called "Electronics"). They hired the guy because on his interview, he overheard someone trying to solve a problem and immediately told them how to fix it. But afterward, they found out that the guy was a jerk as far as his personality went. When they would ask him to show the rest of the team how to do something, he would say, "No, none of you will be able to understand it anyway." He made office enemies really fast. Eventually, she said, he left to go work on this new thing called The Internet, and nobody knew what he was talking about.

Anyway, here you go:

Career Information, Resources & Guides in New Jersey - NJ.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 08-19-2012, 04:25 PM
2,017 posts, read 4,976,714 times
Reputation: 1668
Originally Posted by 313Weather View Post
That's a cheap response because it's so vague.

Likability can mean anything.
But ultimately-- they felt he didn't fit. They don't have to go into more specifics. Sometimes you mesh with people sometimes you don't.

Generally speaking in the current market you find qualified people who you connect with-- you don't just have to go with someone who you don't connect with but who is qualified.

This is not so different from the job seeker either-- I have stopped pursuing a position when I just didn't connect or mesh with the interviewers or company. I didn't even need them to tell me they were not interested, I thanked them and expressed to them I was not a match for their organization.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2012, 04:34 PM
1,369 posts, read 2,007,107 times
Reputation: 770
Originally Posted by Kagami46 View Post
It can. But that hasn't been established on this thread yet. Are we referring to likeable as social skills then? If so then yes. Social skills are definately needed in any work environment.
Yes, how do we define unlikeable? A person can be unlikeable for many reasons.

Do they have a bitter, negative personality that can deteriorate the office attitude of everyone else they interact with?

Is the person quiet and introverted yet a very efficient worker?

Does the person smell funny, have bad hygiene, dress inappropriate, etc?

In many jobs, yes likeability is a major criteria. Any job that requires customer interaction obviously but also jobs where you would think you can just sit at your computer all day and not be bothered require a certain level of soft skills. I work in software development and building stronger soft skills was one of the areas of focus during initial orientation/training period.

However, I've met very few people who are completely unlikeable. If you feel like you're an unlikeable person, you should do like you would with any other skillset that needs strengthening. Evaluate your weakness and work on making it stronger.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2012, 04:43 PM
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,337 posts, read 54,765,930 times
Reputation: 66883
Also, maybe in THAT particular office that the OP was interviewing for, likeability and personality are important, whereas they might not be in a completely different office.

It's not the end of the world. Our ultimate boss, the guy in charge of everyone else in the agency where I work, is one of the most unlikeable, personality-less people I have ever met. He walks into his office in the morning and never even grunts to his staff, let alone give them a good morning. He calls people into his office and fires questions at them, and while they are answering, he picks up his Blackberry and starts messaging someone else and then finally he'll say to the person speaking to him, I GOT IT and then walk out of the room. He's a complete jerk, but hey, he's got a good salary. The amazing thing to me is that he has a wife and children.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2012, 05:33 PM
419 posts, read 710,845 times
Reputation: 480
likeability shouldn't be the only factor, but it very often is when your sifting through cookie cutter similar qualified applicant after applicant. the reason for that isn't exactly hard to understand.of course there are ways around being likeable and still kicking ass though...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2012, 05:53 PM
Location: Chicago area
8,840 posts, read 13,334,470 times
Reputation: 16036
If the person is insulting, derogatory, condescending, and even violent then yea it becomes a big issue. However, to degenerate an interview into a high school popularity contest and pick the candidate that you think you would like to have drinks with over the one who is the most qualified is just rediculous.

However, from what I have seen it is very common with HR bimbos leading the way on this. This is one reason I have no sympathy at all for companies with inept employees. They got exactly what they selected for. Big talking BSers who are lacking in the skills department.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-19-2012, 07:15 PM
5,194 posts, read 4,905,986 times
Reputation: 3314
I find this "fitting in with the company culture" concept to be very frustrating. I was lucky enough to be hired at my current job in January 2008, before the economy became really bad. I know that if I was applying for this job now, I would not get hired (the person who hired me even told me at the time of hire that I was not the ideal candidate, but that he's going to hire me anyway). For example, everyone that I apply with is a skiier, and they spend most of their winter weekends skiing. I have never been skiing, and my job has nothing at all to do with skiing. I know very well that if I was trying to get this job after the economy crashed, they would not hire me since I "do not fit in with the company culture" since I am not a skiier.

Also, they would likely refuse to hire me nowadays because I live in a condo complex which has a pool: they would claim that the pool would make me unwilling to work overtime on summer weekends. Even if that is true, it ignores one important issue: the skiiers who "fit in with the company culture" but absolutely will not ever work overtime on winter weekends. For that reason, it seems to me that it would be advantageous to hire a few employees who do not "fit in with the company culture". I could work overtime on winter weekends that the skiiers are unwilling to do so, while some of the skiiers can work overtime on summer weekends so that I can use my pool. Why do employers not see this?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2012, 07:28 AM
9,856 posts, read 13,445,512 times
Reputation: 5453
It really does matter a lot. A team of four people who each are only a 7/10, but who are social, enjoy spending time with each other, get along as people, etc. will almost always accomplish more than four individual people who are 10/10, but sit in their office isolated, not talking to or interacting with each other. I weight likability and social skills as 50% of what I base a hiring decision on (and this is for interviewing people for IT positions). This is actually why I always take people out to lunch the day of their second interview. I want to spend an hour with them not talking about work, just to see how they interact socially. If they can't hold a conversation with me for an hour, how can I trust them to interact with co-workers/customers when they need to?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2012, 07:48 AM
2,138 posts, read 4,796,088 times
Reputation: 3146
I tried telling people in other threads that this is the new normal, but they ignore it. Showing up to work and not talking to anyone, those days are over! Heck these guys are telling you its a requirement just to get the job now. So lesson learned, if you don't have social skills, get some, even if it means the fake laugh over how many days it is until Friday small talk.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-20-2012, 08:14 AM
380 posts, read 1,015,638 times
Reputation: 310
IME, likeability and fit can mean just about anything. It doesn't necessarily mean the "unlikeable" person is rude or negative. It could just mean the hiring manager couldn't see you as someone he would want to hang out with or be around. You could be a perfectly pleasant and decent person, but, if the hiring manager doesn't click with you or share things in common with you, then, you will be dead in the water.

Personally, I think fit and likeability are BS reasons to be denied for a job. It doesn't really tell you anything other than the hiring manager is using personal and subjective criteria to choose a new employee. It, also, is a convenient excuse to use when trying to discriminate against people.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Work and Employment > Job Search
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top