You’ve got all of the skills and qualifications required to meet the job criteria. You dress in your most professional interview clothes, offer a confident handshake, show your interest, even ask a few questions of your own to show the interviewer that you have done your homework on the company.
You leave the interview feeling on top of the world; you did great, and you’re sure that you will be the candidate chosen for the job! You even go out and celebrate, feeling that you’re a shoe-in – and then, days go by and you hear nothing…
What happened? What’s going on?
In your panic, you call the HR manager only to learn they decided on another job candidate.
Where did you go wrong?
It may not be that you did anything at all wrong – it may simply be that you weren’t aware that most employers are looking for more than just skills and qualifications.
Employers are looking at many factors when making an employment decision. A positive attitude, enthusiasm, problem-solving capabilities, work ethic – these are just a few of the things outside of skills that employers look at when deciding who will make the best employee for their company.
During the interview, hiring managers and employers can often “detect” things about you and you may not even realize it. They determine if you are a good listener; they ask situational or behavioral interview questions that may put some candidates “on the spot” so to speak, such as asking you to explain a time in past employment when a conflict arose and how you handled it. If you aren’t prepared for these types of questions, they can really throw you for a loop!
Employers often look for traits or characteristics that give them a hint about your attitude and abilities. Are you a good problem solver, or effective as a team leader? Do you have that “can-do” attitude that some people possess who won’t let anything get in their way? An interviewer can often assimilate answers to these questions through your attitude, answers, and even body language.
Keep these things in mind when you prepare for your next job interview. Understanding what employers may be looking for behind the scenes of your interview will increase the chances that you really do get that coveted job offer the next time around!
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