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'Likeonomics': Will Being Likeable Make You More Employable?


There is a hard-dollar benefit attached to being more likable, says 'Likeonomics' author Rohit Bhargava.

Editor's note: This story by David Schepp originally appeared on AOL Jobs.

Ever ace an interview only to find out you didn't get the job? If so, you likely asked yourself a lot of questions about what went wrong: Did I talk about myself too much? Was my handshake too aggressive or too weak? Did I wear the wrong outfit?

The painful truth is that it probably wasn't any of those things. It's more likely that another candidate was simply more likable. That can be a painful lesson to learn, but like it or not, being likable has become a bankable and powerful commodity in today's technology-driven world.

In an age in which people are more apt to do business with and hire people and companies they like, it pays to improve the qualities that make us likable, says Rohit Bhargava, author of Likeonomics ("like" plus "economics"), which examines what it takes to win others' trust by being more likable.

As the author notes, "Being more believable is the real secret to standing out." AOL Jobs recently spoke with Bhargava about likeonomics and the important role it plays in job-seeking and career advancement. Here's some of what he had to say:

Q. Likeonomics, as a concept, has been around for awhile, so why is it more important today than, say, 30 or 40 years ago?

A. Two reasons: Firstly, we are in the midst what I call the modern believability crisis. People are easily manipulated by marketing messages and they know it, so they have less trust in organizations. The keenest examples are the political ads we're now seeing. The other reason is that technological advances have greatly reduced the number of face-to-face interactions people have today compared to, say, 50 years ago. Many of us have forgotten the importance of personal connections in decision-making, and why we believe certain people and don't believe others.

Q. Is there a portion of the workforce who intrinsically "get" likeonomics?

A. There are definitely people who are naturally good at it. Bill Clinton is an example. But the wider population -- 85 to 90 percent of people -- are able to learn different elements of likeonomics. People who might have used it already in certain situations and certainly could get better at. It's something they can learn.

Also on AOL Jobs:

6 Things NOT To Do In An Interview

How To Save A Bad Interview

Why Job Interviews Have Become Grueling (And What To Do About It)
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