How Companies Determine if an Applicant is a Good Fit
BY ALISON DOYLE
Employers are always looking for candidates who are a good match for the job, the department and the organization. Even if you seem ideal on paper, during an interview the employer will likely assess whether you’re a “good fit” for the company.
Despite having terrific credentials, if it doesn’t appear that you’ll fit in with management, the other employees, or with the company culture you may not get a job offer – and the job may not be right for you.
What Makes a Candidate a Good Fit?
What makes you a good fit for an employer? There are many different dimensions impacting how well you will fit in if hired. Perhaps the most obvious aspect of fit is whether your resume lines up with the qualifications of the job. Interviewers will want to know if you have the right interests, personality, skills, knowledge, education, and experiences to excel in your target position.
Make a Match
Analyze the requirements for the job, and provide examples of how you have exhibited key qualifications in your past academic, co-curricular, volunteer and work activities. You need to show the employer why you would be a good fit for the job.
Of course, it goes beyond your resume. Employers will look for individuals who will fit in well with their corporate culture on both a personal and professional level. For example, if a company values innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, then the interviewer will want to see evidence of a pattern of those qualities in your work history.
Make sure you research the company culture as you prepare for an interview so that you can present your strengths within the context of the organization’s culture.
Be prepared, as well, to answer job interview questions about company culture.
Management and Leadership Style
Another element of fit is how you might respond to your prospective manager’s supervisory or leadership style. For example, if a recruiter knows that a particular manager is hands off with staff, then she might look for a self-motivated candidate, rather than one who thrives on feedback or direction. Similarly, if a supervisor is known to have an autocratic style, then an interviewer might hesitate to hire a candidate who prefers to work independently.
You will rarely gain insight into your prospective manager’s style prior to your interview day, but make sure you scrutinize her approach as you interact during the interview process. Asking other individuals who report to your possible supervisor to describe her management approach can also help you to figure out if she would be a good match for you. In addition, pay attention to the office atmosphere to get a sense of how you’ll fit into the overall company culture.
Is the Job a Good Fit for You?
It’s also important to make sure the company is a good fit for you. Interviewing works both ways, and it gives you the opportunity to evaluate whether the employer is a match for what you’re looking for in your next job. If it doesn’t appear to be, take the time to decide the one you want to spend your time applying for.