You often hear the phrase “looking for the right fit” when employers describe the ideal employee. But what exactly does that mean? First, the bad news: The answer is different for every hiring manager. The good news is that you can figure it out and adapt your responses to try to crack their “fit” code.
Greg Johnson, executive coach at Above the Rim Executive Coaching, recently shared his thoughts on the “fit” on his LinkedIn blog, and we couldn’t agree with his suggestions more. He says, “Interview preparation is one of the most important aspects of the job search; however, the vast majority of job seekers simply wing the interview.”
Based on Johnson’s tips, here’s what you can be doing to prep yourself instead:
Tailor your resume and list of skills to the position being offered. You might have a ton of experience in a variety of careers/jobs, but you want to come across as someone who’s suited with the specific skills needed to fill a particular role. Cast your job history in the light of what’s being asked for in the job description. If it’s a customer service position, think of the ways in which you serviced customers in your past roles and highlight that.
Present yourself in terms of the value you can bring to the company. Hiring managers are interested in the bottom line. How will you earn your salary? What kind of productivity and idea generation can you give them so they’re getting the most bang for their buck? Frame your answers to include specific ways you earned or saved your past employers money.
Are you on the same page when it comes to culture? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by doing a lot of research on the company before you step foot in the interview room. What do employee reviews have to say about the company? What images are being presented on the company’s website and social media pages? This aspect of job hunting is just as important for you since you’ll want to work for a company at which you feel comfortable.
Do you share the company’s vision? Look into the history of the company, and where it’s headed. Are they innovative and visionary, or do they stick to their same tried and true values since inception? Do they develop a lot of new products and services, or do they focus on their big ticket items? These insights can help you know what type of work will be expected of you, and how much opportunity you’ll have for new developments.
Learning about these different aspects of a company can help you fit into their employee puzzle perfectly. Of course, you don’t want to fake them out too much, because you’ll be most happy at a company that’s the right fit for you, too.