How are you assessing your next opportunity against your demonstrable capability and the stretch you require to remain motivated and engaged? Just as important – how are you front footing any skills gap so that the prospective hiring manager is prepared to invest in your development.
Focus on the skills gap and how you are going to front foot those so that they don’t become the dominant negative of your interview.
Recruiters and hiring managers ideally want to place candidates that can do the bulk of what is required (80% can do, want to will do. 20% will do, want to).
Leverage Fit and Attitude
The truth is getting the ideal candidate isn’t just about skills. Skills can be trained. So there are a number of other criteria such as culture fit and attitude that will come into play during the selection process. You can’t train these. However – they will have a bearing on whether the hiring manager believes you have the right fit and attitude to enable effective skills development.
The key here is to understand your own capability, how well your skills meet the requirements of the role and how you will bridge any skill gaps. Remember, your stated skills need to be supported by demonstrated experience and achievements.
As a candidate, what can you do to front foot your skills gap?
Think about the transferable skills you have that could bridge the gap, the training you can undertake, the support you can obtain – and last but not least, how you will communicate the quality of the strengths and attitude you have – so compellingly, that the hiring manager is able to contemplate and ultimately agree to invest in areas for development.
So what’s the formula to identify your strengths?
- Something I do often
- Something I do well
- Something I do enjoy
Of course these skills need to be relevant to the role at hand.
The Tough Interview Question
“What do you think is an area for development?”
So what’s an area for development that may require more capability and will resonate ‘positively’ with the hiring manager? Pick one of the strengths you’ve identified already (again – relevant to the role), and that you want to develop even further. Answer with one of the skills you enjoy doing, do well – but would like to do more of and be even better at. Then tie that into a relative skills requirement for the role and how you will go about building on your strength to deliver to the requirements of the hiring manager.
Preparation is Key
All of the above requires preparation and a good degree of knowledge about the critical performance elements of the role.
Go into an interview knowing your strengths and areas for development. Front foot them with a positive attitude and convince the hiring manager you have what it takes to bridge any skills gap, take on the challenge and deliver great results.
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