The Final Cut

Posted on: December 10th, 2013 by
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Let’s assume that you are one of 3 finalist candidates for a job your really want.  Each of the candidates have similar experiences, all are local, within a comparable pay range and have interviewed well with the recruiters, internal customers, and staff.  This is not an unusual situation.  The question then, is how the hiring manager makes the final decision?

When all of the objective criteria are met, the subjective criterion takes over.  We know that each candidate will be better in some areas than others, but no one person will be the best in all things.  That’s when the question of cultural fit, motivation, personality, likeability, flexibility, team spirit and simple “chemistry” makes the difference:  The subjective criteria.

The final decision may boil down to these three questions:

  • Do you fit our culture?  Are you right for us?  Are you likeable? Are you a team player?
  • Can you solve our short-term issues plus add value longer term as a high performer?
  • Will you be a longer-term employee, honest, have loyalty, integrity and a work discipline?

The risk for a hiring manager is to hire the wrong person.  What are the things that knock candidates out? Here are some of the things to avoid:

  • Too much or irrelevant information or inadequate answers about your past results
  • Errors in spelling or questionable statements that conflict with other facts
  • Your overemphasis on salary, benefits, or secondary issues – save it for later
  • Unprofessional, immature, careless, disinterest, or concern for self, not others
  • Attitude of superiority, self-interest, or immediate concern for promotion
  • Defensive behavior about past events – “It was always someone else’s fault”
  • Not responding quickly to information requested

Once a hiring manager screens you into the final group, he/she has determined that you have a high potential to do the job (you’re screened-in). Then the decision has to be made which one of the final candidates will get an offer.  The hiring manager is then looking for the things that are a knock out (screened-out).

Once hired, then it’s your job to validate the boss’s decision to hire you in the first place.  You never want to make the boss look bad around the choice of hiring you.

Remember:  Companies hire for skills… and fire for lack of results or fit.

Contact Bill Kaufmann to coach you. Send questions or your resume for a free review to:   Send for Bill’s e-book:

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