WASHINGTON – When landing your first job in a high-paying profession, it is important to go into an interview with a glowing resume, a strong skill set, a high level of commitment, a pressed shirt and possibly even a great haircut.
But what many forget to pack with them is a shining personality.
Researchers at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management have determined that while most job applicants meet the education and skill requirements for a position, the act of hiring really comes down to the simple issue of likability.
A study published in the American Sociological Review reveals that employers seek candidates who are culturally similar to themselves. Hiring employers want to know that a candidate will fit in, especially if the job requires long hours. The researchers who published the article refer to the process as “cultural matching.”
Drawing from 120 interviews with employers as well as participant observation of a hiring committee, researchers determined that employers sought candidates who were not only competent, but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences and self-presentation styles.
WTOP’s Rosemary Frisino-Toohey contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.