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Old 06-01-2013, 09:57 PM
 
271 posts, read 1,486,420 times
Reputation: 138

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Hey everyone. I’m a 33-year-old male, and I have a BA in chemistry and a BS in chemical engineering.

In 2010, I was fired from my job by a micromanaging supervisor. I subsequently kept struggling to find another job.

After two years of being unemployed, I enrolled in a medical technology internship program at my local hospital last year. The idea was that, upon completion of the program, I could quickly land a job in the medical field- because “people get sick”.

A few months ago, I started working in the hospital’s blood bank alongside another intern, Anna. For four weeks, she and I individually assisted the blood bankers with their daily workload.

During the training period, there was an open, full-time position in the same blood bank. Once Anna and I had completed the training, both of us applied for the position. Other than a few outsiders, she and I were the only current interns in the pool of applicants.

Last month, I found out that Anna had been hired for the position. According to the rumor mill in the lab, the blood bankers and their manager hired her over me because she is “more likeable”.

Now, I have nothing against Anna. But I feel that she and I are equally skilled, and that I’ve shown as much interest in blood banking as she has. Plus, Anna has a tendency to become high-strung during stressful situations. And if you’re a blood banker, the last thing you want to be is a stressball.

To put things in perspective-

Anna is a blond, attractive, 23-year-old student from Poland. Her personality can be described as “a splash of vibrant sunshine”. She’s very perky and outgoing. Everyone in the lab thinks she’s so cute.

On the other hand, I tend to be more on the quiet, reserved side. I prefer to keep to myself.

During the four-week training, I noticed that Anna clicked really well with the blood bankers and their manager. She shared incredible chemistry with them. She would regularly socialize with them during lunch/coffee breaks and even during busy hours. It’s worth mentioning that the entire blood bank consists of women, and that Anna was treated as “one of the girls”.

Needless to say, I didn’t form the same relationships with the blood bankers as Anna managed to do. And, for some reason, the blood bankers gave Anna excessive time-off, but never did the same for me.

Do you guys honestly think that Anna was hired over me largely due to her being “more likeable”? Or did she just get lucky?

Is likeability truly a major factor in the hiring process? Do I need to change how I present myself to prospective managers and colleagues?

I don’t want to sound cynical or anything. But I feel that there’s a lot of BS going on in today’s hiring practices.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:05 PM
 
427 posts, read 793,574 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jericho-79 View Post
Hey everyone. I’m a 33-year-old male, and I have a BA in chemistry and a BS in chemical engineering.

In 2010, I was fired from my job by a micromanaging supervisor. I subsequently kept struggling to find another job.

After two years of being unemployed, I enrolled in a medical technology internship program at my local hospital last year. The idea was that, upon completion of the program, I could quickly land a job in the medical field- because “people get sick”.

A few months ago, I started working in the hospital’s blood bank alongside another intern, Anna. For four weeks, she and I individually assisted the blood bankers with their daily workload.

During the training period, there was an open, full-time position in the same blood bank. Once Anna and I had completed the training, both of us applied for the position. Other than a few outsiders, she and I were the only current interns in the pool of applicants.

Last month, I found out that Anna had been hired for the position. According to the rumor mill in the lab, the blood bankers and their manager hired her over me because she is “more likeable”.

Now, I have nothing against Anna. But I feel that she and I are equally skilled, and that I’ve shown as much interest in blood banking as she has. Plus, Anna has a tendency to become high-strung during stressful situations. And if you’re a blood banker, the last thing you want to be is a stressball.

To put things in perspective-

Anna is a blond, attractive, 23-year-old student from Poland. Her personality can be described as “a splash of vibrant sunshine”. She’s very perky and outgoing. Everyone in the lab thinks she’s so cute.

On the other hand, I tend to be more on the quiet, reserved side. I prefer to keep to myself.

During the four-week training, I noticed that Anna clicked really well with the blood bankers and their manager. She shared incredible chemistry with them. She would regularly socialize with them during lunch/coffee breaks and even during busy hours. It’s worth mentioning that the entire blood bank consists of women, and that Anna was treated as “one of the girls”.

Needless to say, I didn’t form the same relationships with the blood bankers as Anna managed to do. And, for some reason, the blood bankers gave Anna excessive time-off, but never did the same for me.

Do you guys honestly think that Anna was hired over me largely due to her being “more likeable”? Or did she just get lucky?

Is likeability truly a major factor in the hiring process? Do I need to change how I present myself to prospective managers and colleagues?

I don’t want to sound cynical or anything. But I feel that there’s a lot of BS going on in today’s hiring practices.
Yes, the "likeability" factor is huge in the hiring decision.

More important, assuming that you graduated from a good school, where in the world do you live that you can't find a job with a chemical engineering degree?
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,749 posts, read 54,373,866 times
Reputation: 31030
Yes, and even more so when the job is meeting the public. Probably important enough that she would get the job over you eve if she was a little below your level of skill. People without that kind of personality may be happier in a job where they work mostly alone at a desk.
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Old 06-02-2013, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i
67 posts, read 170,512 times
Reputation: 26
I will definitely agree to that. Likeability is a very important factor, the bond you have with the person doing the interview is big in my opinion.

When I first moved to Hawaii, I had been out of the marketing world for a few years, and I moved here from San Francisco. I applied for a job at an estate planning law firm, the name of the firm sounded very toney and elegant in a way, and the HR persons name led me to expect a very young Japanese American woman and I was uncertain I would fit in (just because I was expecting a high end place and marble flooors and art work on the walls and I was new to Hawaii and I had read how locals are towards newcomers lol) . So I get to the interview, and the reception area is 'down home' with hawaiian quilts on the wall, an eccentric and eclectic mix of pix and art on the floor and walls, a patch work bunny on the reception desk, and the HR person was this older haole (white) woman, very large, very gragarious, wearing a muumuu, with white curly orphan annie type hair. We got along soooo well on the first time, we hit it off, laughed, talked story, we were kind of kindred spirits if you will. She gave me a tour of the office the first interview (I guess its true when you know you have a good shot vs. a "we're still looking at others" type of first meeting). By the time I had to truly meet the owners/partners, It was just a formality. I think most places pretty much trust the HR person/firm administrator. My eexperience is that hiring has always been decided by the person interviewing you first hand but your quetion at hand, yes, personality and how the person perceives you and gets along with you.

In the past few years I had been sent on a few interviews with this one Escrow Title company. ONce in 2009 and again in 2012. I did not feel good about the HR person (and both times were for a temp position lasting only one month!) and to my dismay, when I returned in '12 for an interview, it was the same person interviewing me for a temp position. I never got either and I attribute it to her just making a decision in her mind about who I was and whether she really liked me or not. I mean, it was a 4 week role and I had every skill and then some for it.

I had a temp job in 2011 for one year as a marketing administrator for a large bank in a certain division. I got along well and well with the officers and did my job and then some. Hit it off with the Sr. Vice President I supprted, they recieved a new Group Exec Vice Pres (my svps new boss) who sat on the same offices as us about 9 months into my stint there, I had no real interaction with him, I did not bond with him, and to be honest I never really tried. I was not rude or anything. I just assumed he was hands off, but I stayed in my corner and did my work, while the other people in the office schmoozed with him, chatted with him, you know, the normal kiss butt routine that is common. I was a temp and treated myself as one and just had that aloofness. Well, even though I was 'promised' by the SVP I would be hired perm many times before he arrived, it was eventually not meant to be. And at the one year mark, I was told my role was finished. They were getting someone else and gave me the (probably conveniently true) reason that the bank did not allow a temp in the same role past one year. I was devasted to be honest. They got a new temp, and I heard HIRED HER after two months as they were desperate for a perm person in that place. Im pretty sure it was the EVPs decision, that perhaps he was not a fan of mine. They could have hired me after that one year rule. They could have moved me into a different position there. I looked back and realized I could have shmoozed, I could have offered to do stuff for him. But he never asked nor did my boss ever say for me to do anything for him. Im a good powerpoint animated presentation person and I never offered to help him, I just figured I was never asked lol. And then I woudl see some other person from another area helping him with powerpoint stuff when I should have done that.

So yes, it is a lot about you. Do some research on this, there was this good thread awhile back in the Employment forum on something to the effect of "do you co mingle with your colleagues, or do you keep to yourself or something to that effect' which was very very eye opening on my end. I think we as guys may tend to be a bit more introverted and aren't necessarily considered for our personalities. I am 6'3" and 235 lbs so I already feel I have this mark on me and have to figure out does my appearance make me seem staid, threatening? I dress well, but I stand out in a crowd. I think I have to learn better to make someone feel really really at ease the minute they see me. Do I engage people in conversation? Do I make someone comfortable? Do I say hello? I look at my epxerience with the EVP at that company and realize I should have done more. I was there 9 months before he arrived. I should have made HIM feel comfortable, even if I was a temp.

I know I have written way too much as I always do. And I may have veered off from your original question since you already had your foot in the door there. But I know what you mean by being reserved and quiet. I tend to be at times the person who wont say hi first and think if the other one does not (even higher up and managers) that they dont want to say hi or have something better to do. I have definite insecuritity issues (although great skills and a good resume and have worked for good places in San Francisco and Honolulu) and that may very well lead people to think I am aloof and unfriendly, or I don't want to be there. It's definitely worth it to do some research . I tend to not like to rely on friends by saying "hey do I come across as.. " because they'll tend to say "Noo.. That's crazy. " As they don't see that side.

Last edited by allen96817; 06-02-2013 at 05:56 AM..
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:42 AM
 
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,431 posts, read 4,611,594 times
Reputation: 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jericho-79 View Post

During the four-week training, I noticed that Anna clicked really well with the blood bankers and their manager. She shared incredible chemistry with them. She would regularly socialize with them during lunch/coffee breaks and even during busy hours. It’s worth mentioning that the entire blood bank consists of women, and that Anna was treated as “one of the girls”.

Do you guys honestly think that Anna was hired over me largely due to her being “more likeable”? Or did she just get lucky?

Is likeability truly a major factor in the hiring process? Do I need to change how I present myself to prospective managers and colleagues?
Yes, likeability is a big factor with hiring. But it's not as if Anna walked in off the street and just had a great interview. She had already established a good relationship with her future team. She's what you'd call a "good fit". You could both probably do the job equally well, but she synched better with the team.

As far a changing how you present yourself, just be warm and friendly, but not fake -- you still have to be yourself. At some point you will find a team that you synch well with too.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:47 AM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,706,702 times
Reputation: 4944
it's definitely a big factor.

and i don't think it's even that crazy, although giving existing employees extra perks for being likeable and/or attractive is not fair. but when you're looking for someone to hire, someone who's mega qualified but seems like they'd be a pain in the butt to work with might not be the best choice.

i'm not saying that your bosses made the right choice here - if she does get stressed out easily, that's not a good thing. and being quiet and not super social is not the same as being a difficult person or not being nice. but if you were truly equally qualified in other ways, or even if you were a bit more qualified, and her only advantage was being more likeable - yes, i could see that being the tiebreaker. when you and your team are going to be working with this person every day, you want to be working with someone you get along with.

keep in mind, too, the rumor mill isn't always right.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:19 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,562 posts, read 15,036,884 times
Reputation: 12113
It's one of the major factors. I have never gotten hired unless the hiring manager and team "liked" my personality and me.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:21 AM
 
427 posts, read 793,574 times
Reputation: 658
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccm123 View Post
It's one of the major factors. I have never gotten hired unless the hiring manager and team "liked" my personality and me.
Hopefully this isn't a surprise.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:49 AM
 
239 posts, read 544,930 times
Reputation: 188
From reading your post it sounds like the two of you were equally skilled, she just got along with the team better than you did, why would you have expected to get the job over her?
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:55 AM
 
2,370 posts, read 4,496,548 times
Reputation: 4206
Anna deserved the job. Good for her that she got it. Luck had nothing to do with it. The OP seems to cast blame everywhere else when they lose out on a job. There are two examples of this in the OP alone. There is a big difference in these two things:

1 - Being bitter that you lost out on a job because you know the other candidate brought more to the table
2 - Realizing that this has happened but crying foul and labeling it BS.

We have passed on some applicants with better IT skills and instead went for someone with a less developed skill set because they had a personality and disposition that meshed with the rest of the team. That is a huge consideration. You can train someone in the skills they need. What you cannot do is train a stick in the mud to be genuinely personable and likable. You can tell those faking it from a mile away. That does not fly in a team based atmosphere.
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