By Jim Wong, CPA | October 12, 2016


As many human resources, hiring managers and recruiters know, the hiring process can be a long undertaking, and it often focuses on screening candidates based on their work history including their technical and functional abilities. Then, once the qualifying individual is vetted, they are typically brought in to be interviewed and further examined for any open roles.

If the candidate’s skills do not match what the hiring manager is looking for after additional interviewing, the candidate is often times passed over.

However, what happens when the person does have all of the technical skills needed for the role, but is not the right fit? Further, what exactly indicates the wrong fit?

Well, there are soft skills that hiring managers need to keep an eye out for that are just as important, if not more important, than a person’s technical skills. That’s not always something that you can list in a lengthy job description when the technical qualifications tend to be forefront and showcased as the most important part of the position.

I came across a Forbes article that discusses the topic of being qualified for a position (on paper) but still not a good candidate for the role. The writer of the article says, “One candidate might be a smarter marketer, never having held a job with “Marketing” in its title, than someone else who has spent 10 years in the Marketing department. Recruiting is not a clerical word-matching exercise. It is a human exercise!” This couldn’t be truer, and I know that I can certainly add some of my own insight.

Take a look at the 5 Things (Besides Qualifications) Managers Should Consider Before Hiring Someone in the list below.

1. Is this person interested in the role? 
Whether or not the person is responsive and engaged during the interview process is important. If the job seeker is truly interested in the open role, they will make time to respond to phone calls and emails, and show interest in the role. If the person is consistently dropping the ball during the interview process, it’s probably safe to assume that the individual is not all that interested in the position.

2. Does this person have thoughtful questions? 
If a job candidate is unable to come up with any questions during an interview, chances are, they aren’t really engaged in the role or the organization. They’re also not that much of a go-getter if that cannot devise a single aspect about the role or company that they’d like to know more about. It’s important to ask questions during interviews in order to get the full scope of the role itself as well as the company. If a job seeker has no questions in the span of a 45-minute interview, they are probably not the right person for the position.

3. Is this person angry or harsh in the interview? 
The writer of this article makes a good point in saying, “Anyone can make a social slip, but some applicants come to a job interview with a chip on their shoulder.” Be aware of the job seekers who come into an interview angry and impolite. Be sure to remember that your job as a hiring manager is to make smart hiring decisions that will benefit the organization, not to act as a superhero who can save all of the world’s angry job seekers.

4. Does this person have goals? 
Hiring someone with goals cannot be overlooked. This is arguably one of the most important aspects to look for during the interview process—does the person have a sense of what they want out of their career? If so, perfect. If not, are they willing to take the time to learn and develop their skills? Possessing drive is vital for any professional, so hiring managers should be sure to ask about the candidate’s personal and professional goals during the interview process.

5. Does this person have a healthy sense of self-esteem? 
The writer of this article states that the best hires are the people who have strong senses of self-esteem and know their worth, not the ones who grovel. Of course, it’s good to see that job seekers want the position, but they should use best judgement and instill confidence—being overly eager isn’t necessarily the only way to show interest in a position.

These are only a few things that hiring managers should consider when making a new hire. Do you have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know!


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