John A. Wojtecki
John A. Wojtecki
Doctor John A. Wojtecki has 45 years of experience in Human Resources, Safety, and Training serving the toy, food, plastics, steel, and office furniture industries. John operates his own consulting business and is a Certified Facilitator in Real Colors. He is a volunteer with the Quad Cities Mediation Service. He posts monthly on his LinkedIn account.

Muscatine Living

With the Great Resignation fully underway, you may find yourself interviewing for any number of positions. For many reasons, an organization will seek individuals who present themselves as leaders. It is in the best interest of the organization to seek an applicant who exemplifies and can contribute as a leader, with or without direct reports.

Judith Humphry, writing for fastcompany.com, discusses four ways to show your leadership in a job interview. I will add a fifth.

Judith’s first thought is to have a leader’s mindset. The interview is a wonderful opportunity to show how you, the applicant, can differentiate yourself from other applicants. Humphry suggests one move from “informational to motivational.” First, come prepared for the interview with appropriate research on the company and the position. Display your excitement about being the right fit for the open position. See and look for an opportunity to display your visionary action for past employers, even have a demonstration.

The second opportunity is for you to script yourself as a leader. Have a one-sentence message on yourself that you can emphasize throughout the interview. Have two or three points as examples of that sentence. Practice is boring – I know. Be comfortable with these points and present them comfortably, not mechanically. This tells them about you!

The language of leadership is the third opportunity. Humphrey uses and stresses the word passionate. I am not comfortable with the word passionate. I would much rather an applicant exhibit behavior and let the interviewer translate your behaviors into passion rather than saying, “I am passionate about. . .”

Judith’s final point is to have a leader’s presence. Your word selection is important. Be vocally animated. Put energy into your voice to display your enthusiasm. Have a warm smile and look the interviewer in the eye. Your posture should be strong and use appropriate gestures.

I would add that one’s dress should be appropriate for the position and culture of the organization. There have been numerous studies on the benefits of appropriate dress. I can see where one’s presentation can be supported with appropriate dress. Using smart and professional attire is supported in science. I was surprised with the 1955 study, yes, 1955 by Lefkowitz, Blake, and Mouton that business wear portrays authority. This is great for one applying where leadership is needed.

My suggestion relates to business appearance. Appropriate business appearance adds to one’s first impression. This professional dress displays an attention to detail. This attention to detail may prove significant when considering how you compare to your competition for the open position. In researching this article, I came across two organizations that have business dress as their mission, dressforsuccess.org which has as its mission to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Another organization helps female veterans with their clothing for interviews. Have you looked at your interviewing wardrobe? Perhaps now is the right time, before your next interview.

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