What makes you more likely than someone else to be offered a job? It is a matter of personality? The words on your resume? A well-crafted cover letter? Knowing the answer to that question can help you approach your job search more strategically, and with that in mind, Jobvite dug up some data and identified the four factors that influence hiring decisions following an in-person interview. Here's what it found.
1. Prior experience
If there's one thing that's likely to sway a hiring manager to extend you a job offer, it's relevant experience for the role in question. That's why it generally pays to focus your efforts on jobs you're qualified to do. If a position requires too many skills you just don't have, you could end up wasting your time, not to mention a recruiter's or hiring manager's, by attempting to cover for that fact on your resume, since chances are, it'll come out in an interview anyway. This isn't to say that you can't apply for a reach job -- meaning, a job you're reasonably qualified for, but perhaps not as much as somebody else. Rather, just make sure your past experience renders you a viable candidate.
2. Conversation skills
Second to prior experience in influencing hiring decisions is conversation skills -- something that comes easier to some of us than others. If you're the type to get nervous during interviews, do some practice runs beforehand in an attempt to shake those jitters. You can recruit a friend or family member to help, or even practice solo in front of a mirror (it's awkward, but it works). Another good way to ensure a good flow of conversation during an interview is to research the people you'll be meeting with. Check out their company profiles or LinkedIn pages, and use that information to help guide that discussion.
3. Industry knowledge
The more you know about your field on a whole, the greater your chances of landing an offer. As you pursue different job opportunities, be sure to research not only the companies you apply to themselves, but their associated industries. Understand what challenges those industries are facing, and go into your interviews equipped with solutions for the companies you want to work for.
4. Culture fit
If you don't fit in with the folks around you, it'll make for a relatively uncomfortable working relationship. And while you can do your best to research different company cultures ahead of time, at the end of the day, getting an offer might boil down to personality -- something you can't control or wouldn't necessarily want to change. At the same time, the more you learn about a company's culture in advance, the better equipped you'll be to get on board with it, or at least convince an interviewer that that's the case. You can get a sense of a company's culture by reading its website or seeking out employee reviews online.
Of course, there are other factors that impact hiring decisions in addition to the four mentioned above. But now that you're aware of a few key things that drive companies to extend offers, you can take steps to make yourself a more desirable candidate.