Matching Your Skills with Job Requirements in Interviews

Matching your skills with job requirements is essential during job interviews. A targeted job interview demonstrates that you have the qualifications that the job requires. These days, employers have an intense interest in effecting a fast start for new hires, with little to no break-in period.

While skills that match the job are critical, they aren’t all it takes to get hired. Personal chemistry (motivation, personality, style, energy, attitude, and so forth) and fit in the workplace’s culture are important decision factors as well.

Keep in mind the following when matching your skills with a job's requirements in an interview:

  • Try to make it easy for the interviewer to believe that you have all (or nearly all) of the skills and attributes that the interviewer is trying to recruit for the position. Emphasize that you meet the specs — point for point.

  • Interviews for professional and managerial jobs typically stretch over two or more meetings. Your qualifications for an open job generally are vetted in the first, or screening interview, which likely is conducted by an HR representative. This interviewer can screen you out of the candidate pool, or if you’re a qualified candidate, pass you up to the selection interviewer.

    The selection interviewer, usually the manager to whom you would report, may assume you’re qualified or you wouldn’t have been passed on to a decision maker. The hiring manager tends to be more interested in how you would fit in with the others on the manager’s team.

  • Sometimes, especially with technical candidates, the hiring manager wants to make sure your qualifications are right on target. Perhaps the hiring process stretched out over weeks, even months, and the hiring manager has to an extent, forgotten what you offer, failed to read your file from HR, or just needs reassurance that you can do the job.

    Be alert for signs in a selection interview that you need to shore up the hiring manager’s appreciation of your matching skills and experience. You can do it with a simple question technique: “I noticed that one of the requirements you’re after is experience in construction project management in foreign countries. Would you like to hear about my office park experience in France?”

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