To get hired, your job skills are not enough

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Feb 05

You have killer job skills, had a fabulous interview with the hiring manager and really showed your job skill stuff. NAILED IT!

Then, a week later, you find that you didn’t get the job. Instead, someone with 75% of the job skills and experience you have gets the job. “Wow,” you think. “What happened?”

What happened is you forgot that job skills are not the only thing that gets you the job. Your job skills only get you in the door. Once you get to the point of having an interview with the hiring manager, your job skills — because of the filtering done by the phone interviews — are considered a given.

Your job skills, to the hiring manager, matter. Just right now, not so much.

The hiring manager must understand your motivation to do the work

Once beyond the job skill hurdle, the next issue is how motivated you are to do the work. “OK, I might hire this person…will she want to do the work?,” the hiring manager thinks.

Why you like doing the work — programming, process engineering, nursing, whatever — needs to give you satisfaction. Work is hard, especially over time. Being motivated to do the work — my cause here is to help you be successful finding a job, working the job and having a great career — is what gets you through the tough times at work. You know there will be tough times, right?

Having the job skills is not enough. You must show in the interview why you are motivated to do the work.

The hiring manager must understand how you will fit into the team

You are the new person. You will change the team. You will now interact with your hiring manager as a manager, the most important relationship you have on the job.

Will your personalities match? If the team’s work style is all collaborative and you can’t stand waiting for people to collaborate enough to get to a decision, will you fit? If the manager micromanages and you can’t stand that management style, will you fit into the team?

Corporate culture is a surprisingly important element to your success in a job. Get into a place with a great manager and a team that works well with you and good things happen. Get into an environment with people that don’t match up with your style and the possibility for failure increases.

There are only three answers to interview questions

Every person has to answer only three interview questions before they can get hired, no matter how many questions are asked: can you do the job?  Do you want to do the job? Will you fit in with the team?

Everything subordinates to those three questions. If you have great job skills and a horrible personality that thinks you rule the roost, you can pass the job skills test. And fail the rest and not get hired.

What motivates you about your work? What type of a team do you want to work with? Will you show that in the interview?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.