Work in Japan Advice Board
Hiring is both a risk and an investment. The job interview is a place where both sides try to look good and discover the truth, because people and places are not always as they appear.
The typical approach is to look at tangible traces from the past in the form of achievements, education, and recommendations. Employers also try to look beyond the surface to discover how a person really thinks or behaves.
Employers today have many ways to screen or check these traces online as well, by searching how the person appears by mention, website, blog, or in social media. But even these are piecemeal fragments, presenting a partial picture.
Good interview impressions may fade in the light of the working day. The best efforts to screen and select can lead to surprises on both sides once the person starts working. Internships may be a better way to evaluate a working relationship than interviews.
A good resume can get an employer’s attention, but is not enough to earn trust. David Silverman, writing for Harvard Business Review, said that poorly written resumes can actually annoy hiring managers. Vague or inflated achievements make interviewers feel like they are trying to read tea leaves rather than work summaries.
A well written resume backed by authentic experience can get you an interview, but a great deal will depend on how you carry and conduct yourself in the interview, and after you are hired.
The higher level the position, the less formal the interview may appear. It is sometimes easier to see what a person is really like by engaging in conversation over a meal, than through a well-rehearsed interview.
Skills and knowledge are cumulative, but energy is the great multiplier that ultimately affects the outcome. What kind of energy are we talking about?
The energy of presence, a positive mindset that seeks the solution rather than magnifies the problem. This is evident in a person’s posture, and in the way they talk about things.
The energy of passion, a fire that burns from within and cannot be easily extinguished by external circumstances. This is evident in a person’s voice, eyes, and body language.
The energy of perseverance, staying power that sees projects through to the end without bailing out. This is evident in the depth, length, and degree of a person’s engagements.
The energy of perspective, the capacity for flexible focus that can zoom in for the detail or out for the big picture. This is evident in a person’s ability to accept and respond to varying points of view.
How do you develop the ability to see these types of energy in others? Simply by developing that same energy in yourself. It takes one to know one, and energy itself is contagious.
Regardless of how good they look on paper, if you hire a person who lacks these qualities, you risk taking on a whole set of unpredictable people and performance problems. At the same time, if you decide to work for a company that saps this kind of energy out of you, you should think carefully if it is worth the price you will pay.
In Japanese the character for rice (米) is also a representation of energy expanding in eight directions. The absence or departure of this energy is (迷い mayoi), translated as doubt, hesitation, or indecision. Energy expanding into the clouds is Ki (氣), a character which appears in dozens of expressions related to motivation, vitality, and health.
The thing to remember about energy is that it has a multiplier effect. Energy exerts influence. It has the power to energize people and change circumstances.
It isn’t something you can inventory on a checklist. Energy is a blessing, far outweighing the typical trappings that pose for success.
Blues singer Billie Holiday said it well. Them that’s got shall get. Them that’s not shall lose. God bless the child that’s got his own.
William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.