Without good or great employees, organizations can’t be good or great. Success of any organization is limited to the talent and quality of its people. So what should a hiring manager be looking for in the best candidate for an open position? And what does this mean for you, a candidate who is looking for the right job? Let’s take a quick review.
Beyond the basic elements of honesty, conscientiousness, dependability, and respect, hiring managers need an answer to the overall question, “What will you be able to do for me?” The answer is usually found through a series of questions:
- Do you have the skills I need to solve my immediate problems?
- Will you give me high performance over time with issues to come?
- Will you effectively fit into the current workgroup and produce as a team member?
So what are some of the factors the manager is looking for when making the hiring decision? Here are at least five of them:
PASSION – Candidates who aren’t passionate about their work aren’t usually high performers. If you can’t show a passion for your past results during the interview, you probably won’t become a finalist candidate. You can demonstrate that passion by the energy and the enthusiasm you show when describing past projects and a high level of interest in the open position.
DRIVE TO PERFORM – Candidates can only demonstrate high performance through experiences that has relevance to the hiring manager. Those experiences must also be supported by measurable results that the hiring manager expects. Those results are best communicated by metrics of productivity or reduction of costs. A narrative about your accomplishments without substantiation of how your results were achieved, is useless.
FITS OUR CULTURE – Whether the culture is autocratic or participative, you need to show that you can smoothly fit in. If your results are achieved through collaboration, but the culture is competitive and political, be wary. The opposite is also true. You may be able to act the part for a short period of time, but it’s almost impossible to maintain the act over the long term. The culture must fit your own values and philosophy or it may be difficult to succeed.
FLEXIBILE – Rigid people usually succeed in rigid organizations. Most organizations today reward those who can adapt to different environments as the business, organization or marketplace changes. Organizations and functions will shift with both controllable and non-controllable forces. Your ability to move with these forces will determine your success.
TECHNOLOGICALLY CURRENT – Why should you be considered as a finalist if you aren’t up to date in the technology within your function? It shows a lack of initiative or desire to advance your skills. Hiring managers shouldn’t need to train you in functional systems or technical skills that are standard requirements for the open position.
Hiring managers are impressed with candidates who are knowledgeable about potential solutions, can fit the culture and have the energy and enthusiasm to achieve required goals.
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