For years these three requirements have been well known. They are the foundation of a complete candidate. They’re as true as a Rolex watch.
But there’s a fourth piece to the puzzle on which some companies place more importance. That fourth requirement is the reason for much consternation for many a job seeker.
Let’s look at the the first three requirements employees must satisfy to land a job, and finally the fourth requirement.
1. Can you do the job? Of course interviewers won’t ask the questions phrased as such: Can you do the job?
Rather they’ll pose them as: “What skills and experience do you see being necessary to do the job?”
“Tell me about a time when you’ll handle problem X.”
“What kind of experience do you have in the areas of Y?” And other questions that gauge your technical abilities.
For many employers this is the most important component of the potential employee, but the following three cannot be overlooked. Having the technical know-how is essential to performing the job and advancing in your career, but there are other qualities employers look for in candidates, perhaps qualities on par with the hard skills.
2. Will you do the job? For the motivation part, they’ll want to know if you’ll enjoy the responsibilities and the mission of the organization. Will you work until the job is finished?
“Why do you want to work for this company?” may be a question you’ll have to field. Think about it; would you, as an employer, want to hire someone who isn’t totally into working for your company? Probably not.
How can you prove your desire to take on the responsibilities of the position or work for the company? Stories using the Situation-Task-Action-Result (STAR) formula are a great way to demonstrate motivation that talk to your desire to do the job.
3. Will you fit? Showing that you’ll be a good fit is a tough shell to crack and a concern many employers have. It’s about your personality. They don’t want to hire someone they’ll have to let go because he cant get along with co-workers.
In this area you’re likely to get behavioral-based directives, such as: “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate colleague.”
To some employers this is even more important to demonstrate at an interview than the technical piece. Technical, or job-related skills, can be learned. Most personality skills are difficult to learn, if not impossible.
Can you train someone to become more sensitive? What about teaching a talkative person to become a listener? Or improve the attitude who has difficulty interacting with other departments. The answer may not, probably, is no.
The Final Requirement
4. Are you affordable? As stated above, some employers play as much, if not more, importance on this requirement. This is due mainly because landing a candidate who cost less, is the priority. Oh sure, getting the other three would be ideal, but not necessary.
During a telephone interview, the first question out of the recruiter’s mouth might be related to salary.“What do you expect for salary?” might be a question you’ll get. Or, “What did you make at your last company.”
Be prepared to answer it so you don’t lose out on the salary you deserve. As well, don’t be surprised if you’re out of their price-range. The final piece.
Salary negotiation makes some people’s skin crawl because they see it as confrontational, when in fact it’s straight forward. Companies don’t want you to resent them by paying you too little. However, a smart company sees this as business, so they’re not going to give away the farm.
Being able to address the three most obvious concerns employers have is what gets you to the fourth concern, can they afford you. If you do a great job with the first three, the last one should go smoothly, just as long as you’re reasonable.