Does Intelligence Equal Effective Interviewing?
When my firm does executive level searches, our executive recruiters are able to decipher who the best interviewers are from the average interviewers and the difference is not intelligence. When you look at American job seekers, intelligence tends to be common ground at this level.
In all actuality, very rarely does intelligence hinder job seekers from effective interviewing and job search. Rather, the variables that make effective interviewers include such things as ambition and people skills.
While some job seekers may be more intelligent than others, the below traits prove to be more deciding for successful interviewing when compared to sheer intelligence:
1. Drive to Succeed - Some very intelligent people just don't have the drive that individuals of above average intelligence possess. In this case, the ambition more than makes up for the IQ differential.
People who have the drive to succeed tend to interview in a more involved manner displaying passion for their career as well as a desire to do well; to the employer, this comes through during the interview process….loud and clear.
2. Ability to Effectively Deal with Various Personality Types - A job seeker can have the highest formal testing scores and natural intelligence, but without people skills, they do not interview as well as someone who is savvy at dealing with all types of people.
The best interviewers know the different personality types within an organization and are able to adjust their interview answers and, thus overall actions accordingly.
When it comes to both interviewing and life, people appreciate those whom they like even if they are slightly less skilled. Being able to connect with others is a skill that quickly convinces any interviewer that you may be the right choice for the hire.
3. Resiliency - Interviewing can be mentally wearing and time has shown that the toughest come out on top. You can be the most intelligent person in the room, but that intelligence quickly fades without a think skin that is conducive to coping with and overcoming rejection.
The best interviewers don't take things personally and move on after being rejected for a particular job. Some highly intelligent people let their ego get in the way of interviewing performance which continues to deteriorate with each rejection.
Rejection gets to all of us, but it doesn't hinder everyone's ability to perform. Interviewing is all about the long run and being resilient is highly important; it is arguably the most crucial of the above traits.
In the End
People who don't exercise their brains never win in executive interviewing, but natural intelligence is never the deciding factor either. Intelligence can be measured in more than one way and many times the most important parameter is not what you think it is.
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