If you’re looking for work, your skills and experience may matter LESS than your personality. Research conducted by Northwestern University business professor Lauren Rivera shows that almost 60-percent HR managers rate people with interests similar to theirs higher than applicants with better skills. In other words, they give the jobs to the people they’d prefer to hang out with all day.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. She says that employees who don’t fit in with the company culture are usually miserable, so hiring managers want to choose carefully. To understand their point, just imagine a free-spirited, creative-type working for a conservative bank with a 15-page dress code.
But the “do-you-fit-in” hiring bias could also mean you’ll lose out on a good job unless you can prove you’re compatible with the people who already work there. So the best way to do that is to tailor your résumé to the company and the position. For example, when hiring managers described their firms as “scrappy” or “rough-and-tumble” they were more likely to hire applicants who played sports like basketball and football, compared to those who played more “elite” games, like tennis and lacrosse.
So, research the company ahead of time. You may find that your passion for needlepoint or cross-country skiing is what ultimately gets you the job.