“The short list of candidates all have the ability to do the work, so what makes the difference? Whether employers know it or not, intuitively they are always looking for a candidate who meets or exceeds their expectations in these six qualities [presented as PADMAN]:
In their book, The 6 Reasons You’ll Get the Job – What Employers Look for Whether They Know It or Not, authors Debra Angel MacDougall and Elisabeth Harney Sanders-Park offer new perspectives and approaches, dozens of specific tips, examples and resources that lead to rewarding opportunities.
For example, “from the employer’s perspective, presentation is not just a matter of looking good; it’s about looking, sounding, and acting like the employer.” Do you have the right presentation, one that is consistent with the company’s culture, team spirit and customer expectations?
In your pre-interview research, “target companies with images similar to your own, and adjust your presentation so you will easily fit into a company’s image.” The authors also address the many “common employer complaints and mistakes in interviews.
When you’re job hunting, you may “think ability is the most important of the six PADMAN areas. In reality,” the authors explain that “ the lack of ability may get you screened out, but it’s usually one of the other five areas that get you hired. … Only in the case of technical jobs for which there are few people with required skills is ability the final reason you are hired.”
What does dependability really mean? Most people think it’s about coming to work every day, on time. However, employers want to know if “you will work in the company’s best interests. Can they trust you with their money, customers, secrets, products, and reputation?. … Employers want people they can depend on to follow instructions, produce the quality and quantity of work required, meet deadlines, and stay until the job is done.”
How would you define your motivation? “From an employer’s perspective, motivation is not just about taking initiative, doing the extra or being ambitious – it’s about using all that to help them achieve their goals.” Thus, have you done your homework?
Before the interview, review the company’s mission and goals in every area, including the industry or field the company operates in. Besides searching the Internet, talking to staff and customers, consider your professional experience from different perspectives and share relevant examples. If, at the end of the interview, you are asked if you have any questions, make sure you have some. For example, you can clarify the company’s goals, priorities and challenges and how you can contribute.
Consider your attitude. Authors MacDougall and Sanders-Park explain that ”from the employer’s perspective, attitude is not just being friendly and respectful; it’s about fitting in.” Employers want to know if you will complement their culture, team members and customers, and do you have a strong work ethic.
While “different employers value different attitudes, there are some that all employers value.” Do you have a strong work ethic, which includes your commitment to stay until the job is done…sometimes five to ten hours more per week? So if you’re asked about this during an interview, explain your availability and areas of flexibility.
What may come as a surprise to job hunters is how important their networks are to potential employers. Your network includes industry contacts, membership in associations and clubs, social networking sites, online groups and connections, as well as references and referrals. Employers appreciate your ability and skills, but often more important is your potential to increase company potential and profits through networking.
The 6 Reasons You’ll Get the Job “will challenge many of your beliefs about job searching…and prove you are the ideal candidate for their job.”