Your first goal when looking for a job is to get
an interview. You offer your candidacy by submitting
your résumé. The challenge is that you’re in
competition with a large number of very qualified
applicants. If you’re lucky, your résumé gets you an
interview. The decision to invite you for this
coveted meeting was based on the appearance of your
résumé, its overall content, the skills it reflects
you possess, and, mainly, the accomplishments you
highlighted via a format of bulleted lists. But now
the second competition starts. It consists in you
versus the other candidates vying for the same job.
Look at the situation from the hiring manager’s
vantage point: the manager needs to make a
selection. Say there are five very qualified and
handpicked applicants with great skills and with
lists of appropriate accomplishments. So, what’s
going to be the differentiator? The answer is the
fit. The hiring manager who is the ultimate decision
maker has a series of pertinent questions and is
answering them subjectively. Some of those questions
- What do we have in common?
-- It is known that people like to hire others
- Are we sharing the same values?
-- For example, what’s your attitude toward
customer service? Are you innovative when
solving problems? Is cost cutting an important
goal of yours?
- What is your work style?
-- For example, are you in the habit of working
long hours? Do you keep an open-door policy? Are
you working well as part of a team? Are you
- What image did you leave behind after the
-- Did you carry yourself well during the
interview? Were you dressed properly? Did you
bathe yourself in perfume? What was your accent
like? your speech pattern? your tone of voice?
your speech volume? What about your walking
pace? your posture? your air of confidence--or
- What kind of personality do you have?
-- Are you confident? Would you fit in well with
company team members? Would you get along?
- Can we afford you?
-- Are your salary expectations aligned with the
company’s budget for this position? Are you
flexible about compensation? Can we make a deal
that both parties will feel good about?
As you can see, the fit component of the hiring
decision-making process is not only complex and
driven by the psychological makeup of the hiring
manager but also biased and subjective.
Good luck in your maneuvering through this maze. The
best advice for winning the hiring manager over is
to get input from a professional counselor who can
offer you unbiased information based on factual
knowledge and years of experience.