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How many times have you heard hiring managers say; “Gotta hire the most qualified candidate. Can’t take any chances.” In an era of accountability, many hiring managers count on the least likely candidate to fail. It’s a safe bet—protecting how senior management perceives your hiring skills in identifying a great hire versus mediocre one.

Every hiring manager wants to make the best selection possible, ensuring new employees that stand out and add value. When a new hire turns out to be a star employee, everybody wins and the company propels forward. When the opposite occurs, a cloud of doubt hovers over the hiring manager with questionable skills and competencies to recognize future top-tier talent.

As recruiting consultants to many of the top industry pharma clients, we have interviewed and placed hundreds of candidates over the years. Clients value our resources and recommendations, recognizing the right candidate for the right job.

Let us share some secret ingredients you can focus on for being the right fit:

  1. Measure your intangibles along with qualifications – Meeting 100% of the job requirements is certainly the goal, but measuring and evaluating your intangibles like personality, attitude, motivation, and connection to other people are just as important. These skills rise to the top for long term success.


  1. Is the new opportunity a step up or lateral move? – In this challenging hiring environment, a candidate needs to evaluate the intermediate and long-term career growth potential. In prior years, the rule of thumb was never take a new job unless there is a title promotion. Not any longer. Titles are mixed and can mean different levels of responsibilities across different companies. That’s why defining the role and asking specific questions about the role are important as you decide to pursue an opportunity or not.


  1. Hone your virtual interview skills – 85-90% of first-time interviews are now virtual due to Covid. First impressions still matter, even on a computer screen. There is much to master in today’s virtual interview prep, but the short answer is practice, practice, practice. Ask a friend or colleague to evaluate how you come across on screen. Do a Zoom call with someone an hour or two before the actual interview. It will calm you down and increase your confidence to have some practice before the real deal. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.


Meeting job requirements are important. I don’t want to downplay experience and qualifications for the potential job. But take a step back. Even though you may not meet the job requirements, your approach and preparation along with thinking through these tips will always give you a better chance of landing the job. Make it count.

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