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Old 08-20-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,811,302 times
Reputation: 4425

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I don't think "likeability" should be the major factor but it is an important one if you're taking a job that requires interacting with many different people. I'm pretty useless at small talk, I am sarcastic and I get irritated easily BUT recognising all that does enable me to do something about it and tone down my "anti-social tendencies" to the point where I can at least function with other people even if I don't like them. The truth is, unless you're working solo from home, you need to get along with other people in 99% of all jobs and if HR thinks you're too impersonal/cold/unapproachable/whatever, you may have to learn how to fake it.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Out West
22,764 posts, read 16,841,238 times
Reputation: 26307
Quote:
Originally Posted by YaFace View Post
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.
Who said it's about not talking to anyone? Of course you have to talk, there are other people there! What some of us mean is that we don't gather around the water cooler and blabber on about our personal lives. Are you really saying that for us to get a job, we have to reveal our personal lives? REALLY?

If someone wants to talk about...oh, Seinfeld, (back in the day), sure, we can talk about that. Or "Big Bang Theory" or they want to share a recipe or the Olympics or whatever, no problem! Hell, I'll even talk about my dogs!

But don't tell me that I have to talk about my personal life to be considered, "likeable" because that's what most of this inane office chitter chatter is...personal information. And there IS such a thing as TMI coming from co-workers! Maybe they should reduce the amount of chit chat and get to work! I don't think anyone here is talking about working in a completely silent office, they are talking about having to spend their day listening to and being asked to talk about personal crap.

I am very likeable..until you start prying in to my personal life. And when I decline to talk about my personal life, I shouldn't be deemed as, "mean" or "having an attitude". It's my personal life.

And no, I do NOT like to go out for drinks with co-workers. That is not part of the job description and if someone doesn't want to do it, it shouldn't have a bearing on what kind of person they are in the office.

I am paid for my time in the office. While I am there, I will be pleasant. I will talk to you about stuff, ON BREAK, if you like, (not my personal life), and if you need something, work related, I'm not going to grunt at you, I'm going to talk to you, pleasantly.

Why some of you act like it's "chatter all the time or you're not being social!" is beyond me.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: USA
7,478 posts, read 5,793,513 times
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The problem is that "likeable" has changed.

In a sane world, people would need to be qualifed and able to work well with the team. Most normal people can work well with most other normal people... though, from what I've seen, dysfunctional organizations place much higher priority on hiring and retaining people who support the dysfunction vs. those who "just" do their jobs and work well with others.

"Likeable" also should not mean a person is judged on the following characteristics:

1) If they are "hot" or not.
2) If the boss would like to hang out with them while drinking beer and watching the game.
3) If the person perfectly agrees with the hiring manager on some annoying wedge issue (politics, religion, etc.)
4) If the person makes a good scapegoat and/or is willing to take the fall for the mistakes of more senior workers.
5) The person graduated from the same college as the manager or many other people in the company.
6) Other idiocy, such marital status, if you have kids or not... if you have kids and aren't married, etc.
7) Health, especially things which cannot be controlled.
8) How extroverted the person is. Being an introvert should not be a sin; in most jobs, it really doesn't matter.

In a terrible economy, the employer has tremendous power, and with that power comes abuse and exploitation since power corrupts. Many people won't accept this, and some even claim it is a "good thing" since it supposedly enhances profits or keeps the "lazy" people out of work, but it is really a problem. We're rapidly becoming a nation of "American Idol" wanna-bes, where we are judged on far more than what is relavent to the job or what we can even control. I swear that many employers these days are more picky about hiring people than they are about dating or marriage partners?!

Like it or not, everyone needs a job, and qualifications should matter far more than if the boss finds you attractive, or if you have the same political views as everyone in the office, or if you graduated from the same college, etc.

Last edited by Rambler123; 08-20-2012 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:52 AM
 
18,935 posts, read 9,646,556 times
Reputation: 5303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler123 View Post
The problem is that "likeable" has changed.

In a sane world, people would need to be qualifed and able to work well with the team. Most normal people can work well with most other normal people... though, from what I've seen, dysfunctional organizations place much higher priority on hiring and retaining people who support the dysfunction vs. those who "just" do their jobs and work well with others.
I am going to debunk this:

1) If they are "hot" or not.

OK, I may give you this one.

2) If the boss would like to hang out with them while drinking beer and watching the game.

Not quite true. In general, the bosses don't like to hang out with the team members anyway. Besides, in an interview, how would the boss know this?

3) If the person perfectly agrees with the hiring manager on some annoying wedge issue (politics, religion, etc.)

Why would this become part of the interview?


4) If the person makes a good scapegoat and/or is willing to take the fall for the mistakes of more senior workers.

Why would this become part of the interview?

5) The person graduated from the same college as the manager or many other people in the company.

This does help a little bit.

6) Other idiocy, such marital status, if you have kids or not... if you have kids and aren't married, etc.

Why would this become part of the interview?

7) Health, especially things which cannot be controlled.

Why would this become part of the interview?

8) How "chatty" the person is, their sense of humor, and so on.

Actually, the more chatty the person is, the less likeable the person is and the less likely the person would be hired. Nobody wants to hire a chatter box.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: USA
7,478 posts, read 5,793,513 times
Reputation: 12322
LifeExplorer:

1) Physical attractiveness matters. I'm sure it is just a coincidence that not a single woman under 30 was let go from my former employer even after they gutted their engineering staff... right... I'm also sure that there is some other good reason for all the attractive and utterly clueless people I've seen at other companies handling HR since then.

2) Maybe your managers don't hang out with the employees, but Friday evening "Happy Hour" was a regular event at my former employer. I don't drink except on special occassions (weddings, etc.) and certainly don't drink with my boss, but others might not mind this. Still, it's not that hard for a boss to decide if you're the type of person he'd want to party with after work; it's stupid that such a thing matters, but it does these days.

3 and 4) You'd be surprised. There have been cases - look around online - where religion and politics have come up during job interviews. This hasn't happened to me, but I don't live in an area of the nation where that type of thing would probably happen. As for the scapegoat thing, that's not talked about with the candidate, but it happens, especially to contractors.

5) The same college thing matters a lot more than one might think. My former employer loved to hire from 2 universities - one of them was the same place from which the Graduate Hiring Director graduated, and the other was from where several top VP's graduated... they were fine schools, but the graduates there were definitely given an unfair advantage both when hired and when given assignments or promotions.

6) Marital Status or kids: Again, you'd be surprised. This hasn't happened to me, but dig around online and even in these forums and you'll find examples.

7) Health is easy. A guy walks in with a cane because he has a leg problem, or maybe he's deaf, etc. Cheap companies don't want people who aren't perfect, so those candidates go right in the trash. I've seen this one happen to people I know. They were qualified and everything was great - right up until the company found about their less than perfect health. Then, suddenly, they weren't good enough for the job, even though their health would not impact their performance.

8) Extroverts have a huge advantage in today's work world. I'm not particularly fond of chattiness, and maybe you are not either, but from what I've seen, most people LOVE chatty people.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:10 AM
 
5,191 posts, read 4,893,797 times
Reputation: 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by hnsq View Post
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?
But that ignores the point that I was trying to make in my post. Based on your post, I should not have been hired, since I am not a skiier, so I do not "fit in with the company culture", and am not really able to participate in a good portion of the conversation. But the point that you and others are missing is, what happens when there is a sudden deadline requiring someone to work overtime during a winter weekend, and the skiiers all refuse to give up their planned skiing weekend? Doesn't it make sense to have somebody like me, who is willing to work overtime on a winter weekend. Perhaps it can be in exchange for not having to work overtime during a summer weekend, when one of the skiiers would be willing to work.

If you have an office with nothing but skiiers who "fit into the company culture", the employer is in very serious trouble when an emergency or deadline happens in the winter. No, they can't just threaten to fire the skiiers who refuse to work overtime, or there would be literally no employees left!

Am I missing something?
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:14 AM
 
5,191 posts, read 4,893,797 times
Reputation: 3314
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeexplorer View Post
I am going to debunk this:
7) Health, especially things which cannot be controlled.
It might not come up in an interview, but it's fairly easy to find out about health problems once you hire an employee, and employers tend to treat unfairly any employee with any medical problems at all.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:29 AM
 
18,935 posts, read 9,646,556 times
Reputation: 5303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler123 View Post
LifeExplorer:

1) Physical attractiveness matters. I'm sure it is just a coincidence that not a single woman under 30 was let go from my former employer even after they gutted their engineering staff... right... I'm also sure that there is some other good reason for all the attractive and utterly clueless people I've seen at other companies handling HR since then.

2) Maybe your managers don't hang out with the employees, but Friday evening "Happy Hour" was a regular event at my former employer. I don't drink except on special occassions (weddings, etc.) and certainly don't drink with my boss, but others might not mind this. Still, it's not that hard for a boss to decide if you're the type of person he'd want to party with after work; it's stupid that such a thing matters, but it does these days.

3 and 4) You'd be surprised. There have been cases - look around online - where religion and politics have come up during job interviews. This hasn't happened to me, but I don't live in an area of the nation where that type of thing would probably happen. As for the scapegoat thing, that's not talked about with the candidate, but it happens, especially to contractors.

5) The same college thing matters a lot more than one might think. My former employer loved to hire from 2 universities - one of them was the same place from which the Graduate Hiring Director graduated, and the other was from where several top VP's graduated... they were fine schools, but the graduates there were definitely given an unfair advantage both when hired and when given assignments or promotions.

6) Marital Status or kids: Again, you'd be surprised. This hasn't happened to me, but dig around online and even in these forums and you'll find examples.

7) Health is easy. A guy walks in with a cane because he has a leg problem, or maybe he's deaf, etc. Cheap companies don't want people who aren't perfect, so those candidates go right in the trash. I've seen this one happen to people I know. They were qualified and everything was great - right up until the company found about their less than perfect health. Then, suddenly, they weren't good enough for the job, even though their health would not impact their performance.

8) Extroverts have a huge advantage in today's work world. I'm not particularly fond of chattiness, and maybe you are not either, but from what I've seen, most people LOVE chatty people.

Maybe you do but most people don't like chatty people. :-) People like those who can listen to them.

Your political view, marriage status, etc. shouldn't come up during interview. If they do because you volunteered the info, your interview skill sucks because employers are forbidden to ask those questions due to discrimination issues.

Last edited by lifeexplorer; 08-20-2012 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:30 AM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,432,010 times
Reputation: 5453
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
But that ignores the point that I was trying to make in my post. Based on your post, I should not have been hired, since I am not a skiier, so I do not "fit in with the company culture", and am not really able to participate in a good portion of the conversation. But the point that you and others are missing is, what happens when there is a sudden deadline requiring someone to work overtime during a winter weekend, and the skiiers all refuse to give up their planned skiing weekend? Doesn't it make sense to have somebody like me, who is willing to work overtime on a winter weekend. Perhaps it can be in exchange for not having to work overtime during a summer weekend, when one of the skiiers would be willing to work.

If you have an office with nothing but skiiers who "fit into the company culture", the employer is in very serious trouble when an emergency or deadline happens in the winter. No, they can't just threaten to fire the skiiers who refuse to work overtime, or there would be literally no employees left!

Am I missing something?
Whether or not someone skis is not a 'company culture', it is a specific activity. Being a more sports-oriented person, for example, is the culture more than just skiing.

An office of all skiiers/active people would be much less likely to hire someone who never exercises and does nothing but play video games, for example. The specific sport (such as skiing) is not the culture at all
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,351 posts, read 1,280,773 times
Reputation: 2929
For me and my boss, we weigh likability and more generally "fit" VERY heavily into hiring decisions. It is a critical component. And it's more than just whether I like the candidate and whether my boss does. We also consider whether candidates have a personality and character that fits in with the rest of the department, that meshes well with people in other departments, that clicks with the executives and that works well with clients. And we also consider this in the other direction...does this candidate seem like the type who would like and get along well with others in the company? Hiring candidates who are likable makes it more likely that everyone will be happy in the workplace. Happy work environment leads to less drama and higher productivity. I'd much rather hire a candidate with an "A-" skill set that clicked well personality-wise than a candidate with an "A+" skill set and a douche personality. That "A-" person probably is more willing to learn and work on his skills anyway and may become A or A+ caliber anyway. Having the right job skills is still equally as important though, so likability only gets you so far. (That's why I didn't say C-level skill set.) Strong candidates have both. Good hiring managers are adept at "reading" people and are good judges of character.

Being likable doesn't mean that you have to be good friends. There's only a few folks at my job that I consider to be friends or acquaintances. It may favor the extroverted and outgoing candidates in general, but not always. Most companies weigh fit and likability heavily (and they should be), but what they consider as likable can vary quite a bit.

People need to stop taking rejections so personal. Some of those employer rejections may be doing you a favor. There is more to being the "most qualified candidate" than just having the best skill set or even having a well-fitting personality. Perhaps the most qualified candidate also likes to golf or drink Pinot Grigio or whatever. Many companies have department-wide and company-wide fun events and activities outside the workplace, with the intent of building rapport, chemistry and camaraderie among the employees (and possibly their families).
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