A true fact in the world of HR and recruitment is that on many occasions, the ‘most skilled’ candidate applying for a vacancy does not actually get offered the job.

This sounds crazy, as surely the most qualified person with the most experience is the best person for the position?

However, on many occasions this is not the case.

The importance of 'fit'

Each organisation has its own culture, ethos and values that drives it in its day-to-day operation. These aspects are vital to take into account when employing someone who potentially could work there for many years.


As an HR person assesses key aspects, such as work experience, qualifications and industry knowledge, they must also assess less tangible characteristics, such as personality, emotional intelligence and team fit.

In my experience, I would have a candidate who is an 8 out of 10 for skill, but only a 3 out of 10 for culture fit. They are technically competent and have experience in the industry, but turned up late for the interview, don't have good questions to ask to me about the job opportunity and finally, don't show any enthusiasm for the role.

Another candidate who is 7 out of 10 skilled for the role, but is 8 out of 10 for culture fit (they are engaged in the interview, friendly, ask great questions and show genuine enthusiasm for the job, company and industry) will get my job offer.

Improving your culture fit

Employers use a wide range of techniques to ascertain 'fit' for their vacancy. Interview questions such as the following are not necessarily asked to determine your skill level, but your suitability to 'fit' in their team:

●What do you know about our company? — Vital to have a strong answer to this question. You must have done your research on the organisation prior to the interview.

●Why do you want to work here? — Again, a massive opportunity to showcase your knowledge of the business and industry, highlighting your personal match to the opportunity and organisation.

●What are your strengths? — Always ensure these are in line with what the employer is 'actually' seeking in the job description. You don't want to say you are great at something they are not interested in for the vacancy.


●What is your leadership style? — Ensuring you match the type of leader they are seeking, will play a huge part in your success or failure to get the role.

●Behavioural questions — Behavioural questions (the ones that demand you give an example as an answer) are filled with opportunities to highlight your employer fit. Ensure your examples are well thought out, showing how you proactively solved problems, met deadlines and positively managed your team. Sometimes the most skilled person for the role, is not the best 'fit' for the role. Make sure you take this into account when you go for your next interview.

Contact Tom for a free Linkedin or CV review, or to be your personal career coach. Visit www.CareerCoach.nz or www.CV.co.nz to find out more.