As a contractor, I have interviewed hundreds of people, from unskilled to professionally registered people over the years. As a Consultant, I still receive CVs and job applications. The one thing that always stands out is personality. I’m not talking about a big personality, but rather a personality match. Recently a technician applied for a job at our company, to which I replied that we unfortunately had no vacancies. He then responded with a few choice curse words. His “big personality” potentially could close a few doors for him down the road. job seekers




In 1995 a well-known construction company came to our University to have interviews with all 13, very eager, final year Civil Engineering students. Of course, everyone pitched up for the interview, hungry for the opportunity. My friend and I arrived looking like our typical student selves, dressed in shorts and T-shirts. Our fellow competitors dressed in their best suites with ties, and huge stacks of paper work and files under their arms… strangely only the two of us got the job.



One day while on site I asked one of the interviewers, why they picked us, as we were the least prepared. The answer was:” Those guys were suitable for Consulting Engineers, you are Contractors.”  Years later I again went to interviews, but this time with Consulting Engineering firms. Every time I felt uncomfortable, underdressed and intimidated by the cold formal settings I did not get that job but I ended up getting another great job with another Construction Company, during an informal interview in a bar over a few beers.





Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you must not prepare for an interview, or under dress, at all. However, we all have a specific personality that will fit into a specific environment. Changing your personality to suit an interview, creates a false sense of who you are, with potential disastrous results for the company, as well as you being extremely unhappy or stressed. This is much like the start of a new relationship and the better you and the company’s characters match, the happier you will be, possibly resulting in a long and fruitful career.



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  1. During my career as Quantity Surveyor spanning four decades,I happened to face several interviews as I had the habit of working for one year and taking rest for another year as I was working in the middle east on a bachelor basis.

    In the later part of my career I interviewed several.My way of interviewing is this. I first ask the question,allow them to answer and subsequently I answer the question.Finally I ask their opinion whether I can select them. Lot of interviewee thanked me as selected or otherwise they gained some knowledge.One even after accepting his failure went on to tell me that there is a moral requirement to share my knowledge with others.So I wrote a book titled “How To be successful at Interviews” (available among others with amazon.com).

    My Trick at interviews is this.First try to get them into your hook.So I start telling them that my service shall be free. Definitely that always interest them.Then I tell them first by thinking out of the box and then go the extra mile to bring more money to the co.This is always possible as a Quantity Surveyor.Then I give few examples relating to the situation.Rather than the dress, well written CVs ,Certificates, actual possible input relating to the employer environment carries much more weight.

  2. We can have two ways of seeing this.
    You can impress the interviewer and get the job. There is a lot of articles on how to do that.
    My view was, I must be happy with the new job, it does not help I charm some one for a job that I don’t want.