When evaluating job candidates, employers care about more than the competence and skills described on the resume.
They are looking for someone who will be both compentent and pleasant to work with – someone who will fit into the organization successfully and work with other employees to achieve the goals of the organization. And behavior in the job interview is where that fit (or lack of fit) usually becomes apparent.
Wasting the Interview Opportunity
There have been multiple articles written in recent years about how younger job seekers too often act very poorly in the networking, interviewing, and hiring process. Unfortunately, this behavior is not limited to younger job seekers.
There are ample stories of…
- Taking phone calls during an interview
- Speaking far too casually with the interviewer
- Texting during a meeting
- Presenting resumes full of typos and grammatical errors
- Dressing far to casually or inappropriately in other ways
- Having an attitude of assuming they will automatically get the job
- Little to no knowledge of the company or the position
- Chewing gum, or candy, or bringing in their own beverage
And some stories that show a complete lack of understanding of the hiring process, like bringing a pet or a parent to the interview.
What Employers Want
In many cases, the individual got the networking meeting or the interview in the first place because they have had relevant training or experience.
On paper, they seem to have the qualifications and a great degree of competence related to the job opening at hand. And yet… they don’t get the job because other factors completely disqualify them!
While certain technical skills for a position are critical, employers don’t often hire the most technically qualified person. Rather, they hire the person who offers the best all-around package!
They are looking for someone who:
- Has at least a certain baseline of necessary skills.
- Can represent the company and/or department competently and professionally to others around them.
- Can communicate effectively and professionally.
- Understands and can demonstrate appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
- Understands the objectives of the company and will contribute.
An employer is looking for someone who will be able to accomplish the required work and solve problems. They are not looking to fill a slot for the sole benefit of that job seeker.
That perspective is often THE deciding factor between two “competent” candidates. The person who takes the process seriously, shows appropriate respect and professionalism, and demonstrates a desire to contribute will get the job!
Simply because a resume shows someone has the most relevant experience does not mean that he or she will be the person hired. Employers care about more than competence!
About the author…
Harry Urschel has over 25 years experience as an independent recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @HarryUrschel and on LinkedIn.