“They told me they decided to go with someone who is a better fit,” a job seeker told me last week. “What does that mean? I feel like I would fit in fine. Why didn’t they think so?”
It’s very common to be told another candidate was chosen due to “fit”. That word can have lots of different meanings and evaluating fit can be very subjective. Understanding what is meant by “fit” is the first step toward demonstrating you’ve got it.
Fit usually describes two things: match to the job, and alignment with the work environment and company culture. Here are some of the factors hiring managers look at in determining fit:
- Do you match all the requirements of the job?
- Do you possess “nice to have” skills that go beyond job requirements, bringing extra value?
- Was your past work experience similar enough to this position to demonstrate you would do well in this job?
- Does the job match well with your stated career objectives?
- Is the position enough of a change that you’ll feel challenged, but not so big a step that you’ll feel overwhelmed or potentially fail?
- How do you compare to the last person who did this job? If the last person was successful, are you similar? Or, if the last person was not successful, are you different?
- Does your communication style match that of the work group and company?
- Does the hiring manager feel warmth and rapport with you?
- Have you proven yourself in a similar environment? For example, if the company is fast paced, have you succeeded in a fast paced job before?
- Have they heard good things about you from someone they trust?
- Do you seem nice and easy to work with?
Now you understand the possible meanings behind “fit”, we will discuss how to demonstrate you’ve got it in part 2 next week.