Interviewing - When the 'Fit' is Everything
Over the years, both as a coach and recruiter, I have heard the following refrains when it comes to interviewing:

“I had all the right answers but I did not make to the next round”.

“The interview went really well and it has been two weeks since I heard anything”.

“My top priority when I interview is to get the offer. Then I will decide if I want the job”.

The organization’s response? “The fit wasn’t there.”

Before continuing, let me make the point that most hiring managers do not know how to interview and hire effectively. This is not new to you nor is this article about them.

You have heard that “team/culture” fit is at least 50% of the hiring decision.

And many of you have heard “there only 3 interview questions”:
1. Can you do the job? (do you have the experience, knowledge and strengths this position requires? It’s important that you have at least 90% of the posted candidate qualifications.
2. Do you have a passion for this position? Do you really want this job and does it make sense from a career standpoint? Again, you need to make a good case here.
3. Will we like you doing the job? As Shakespeare has so elegantly written: “therein lies the rub”. Or in our case, “therein lies the heart of the “fit”.

Each of the big 3 interview questions are weighted when evaluating a candidate. Based on what I have recently observed with clients and hiring managers:
1. Hard skills 25%,
2. Making your case why the position and company are right for you. 25%
3. Do they like you? 50% (it can be as high as 70%).

I coach my clients to see the interviewer as an ally; they are on a mission together to evaluate the fit.

So here is your own checklist for a post interview evaluation regarding the “fit”
» Congruent values between the you and the company
» Communication styles are clear and easy (they didn’t compete)
» The dialogue is honest and authentic
» You successfully articulated your relevance to the needs of the position
» The interview was relaxed and actually engaging (nervousness disappears 5 minutes into the interview)

I am not a proponent of “fake it until you make it”. If as a candidate, you are trying to be what they are looking for, and they believe you, it is a recipe for disaster.

If there is a good authentic fit, can an offer (or at least the next round of interviews) be far behind?