Candidates Focus On Skills Instead Of What The Company Focuses On

Q. I have had a number of interviews for which I know I am qualified, yet I still haven’t been offered a job. Just what do companies mean when they ask for qualified people?

There are actually two different qualifications required, the hard skills; experience, education, past accomplishments, years of experience and so on. The soft skills are the second component of being qualified; communication, demeanor, cultural fit, appearance, likability and so on. The primary issue around your question is that candidates generally focus on the hard skills and companies focus on the soft skills. This means the priorities in the interview are different. There is probably no doubt that you have the hard skills or it is doubtful they would have even interviewed you. My sense is that you are not showing them the soft skills qualifications during the interview.

Since few candidates have a lot of coaching and practice for interviewing most just show up and start answering questions. Soft skills interviewing is an art and, like most things, takes practice and preparation. If I were coaching you, I would start with an in-depth interview to see how you interview. I would have you write out answers to the commonly asked questions. I would also video record you so you can see yourself the way the interviewer views you. You would then hear for yourself how and if you answer the question. Finally, you would see your mannerism and body language. I read somewhere that non-verbal communication is 70% of how we communicate. Have you reviewed your non-verbal communication?

I have video recorded many candidates and many agree after watching themselves for the first time, that they wouldn’t hire themselves.

To download the free chapter on Conducting an Effective Phone Interview from our book “This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resources link.

If you would like to know if your job search is fully utilized and you are doing the right things, download our free 8 Matrix Job Search Self- Assessment Scorecard. CLICK HERE and then click on the Free Search Resource link.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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