A “Great” Answer to a Tough Interview Question (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)
“Whether someone is the ‘right person’ has more to do with character traits and innate capabilities than with specific knowledge, background, or skills.”
–Jim Collins in Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t
I recently read Good to Great, which is widely considered to be one of the best business/leadership books of all-time, with over 3 million copies in print. Through extensive research, Collins and his team proved, among other things, that the best companies in the world became “great” because they focused on hiring people based on applicants’ personality attributes and inherent abilities rather than hiring people based on their learned knowledge or skills. Unfortunately, few companies subscribe to this philosophy.
If I was in a job interview and someone told me (or implied) that I was not “qualified,” I would respond by referencing Collins’ research and the quote above. Then, I would use a few specific examples to demonstrate how I had certain qualities that would make me very likely to succeed if hired for the position I was applying for.
Will this work every time? Of course not! However, isn’t it much better than agreeing that you are not qualified?
Thanks for reading!
College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises