By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina
When interviewing for a job, explore the skills needed for the position and if the culture is a good fit for you.
Employers look to hire a blend of technical competency and culture fit. Some hiring managers place a higher value on culture fit because they believe they can teach the technical skills the candidate may need. Other managers place greater emphasis on skills and experience.
It may be frustrating if you feel highly qualified yet you lose out to another candidate. You can be in a better position for your next interview by improving your interview skills. Research the company or employer’s culture and communicate ways you can align and contribute. For example, if an employer values sustainability, you might share that you coordinated a neighborhood garden, community clean up or computer recycling drive with your previous employer or a volunteer organization. If an employer values mentoring, you might mention that you mentor students or other professionals in your field.
Do your best to convey your skills, education, and how you are known and respected in your field. An employer may research your social media and professional network participation before or after the interview. If you are not already involved, consider joining professional organizations and volunteering in your community. Get to know others in your company. Be a lifelong learner, and keep up with technology and other changes in your field so you can communicate how you have updated your skills.
Do your best to be a well-rounded applicant who is a good fit, both culturally and skills-wise.