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The #1 Interview Skill: Open-Mindedness

By Janine Sheehan on

It’s no secret that hiring companies and job seekers are struggling to get on the same page in today’s job market.

Between evolving priorities for job seekers (flexibility, compensation) and employers still figuring out in-office models (how many days, is it the same for everyone?), hiring feels particularly arduous. For both sides.

Our advice is this—keep an open mind, especially in the interview process. Many hiring managers and candidates have already adopted a more equitable approach when it comes to recruiting and applying—seeing the benefit in interviewing, even when the match isn’t perfect on paper, to gain a better understanding of mutual goals, backgrounds, etc.

Interviewing should invoke the same mindset. It should be a conversation. If you’re the candidate, appreciate that the employer has problems they’re trying to solve. Do you think you could help solve them? If you’re the hiring company, respect that the candidate has priorities—professional and personal. Do you think you could help meet them?

In today’s market, it’s rare to find a candidate who checks off every criterion, especially on paper. And a candidate will be hard pressed to find a company designed around their every need. A conversational interview process is the best way to identify cultural fit, relevant skills, learning opportunities, non-negotiables, and all the intangibles that ultimately make an employer extend an offer and a job seeker say yes.