Crossing the “Believability Gap”

Settlement ISC Employment


After the resumes are submitted, and the interviews are completed, how does the hiring manager decide who to hire?

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Hiring managers are usually the leaders of a team, a project, a business unit, or a specific location. They have a budget, a set of accountabilities, objectives or outputs, and a team of people of varying size for whom they are responsible for. They need to believe that whomever they bring onto their team, will help them achieve their accountabilities/goals, and will not negatively impact the performance of their team, or otherwise get in the way of the teams (or organization’s) objectives.

This is what I call the “Believability Gap.”  

It is a gap of doubt, or of fear, that any given candidate for a job, can actually SUCCEED in the job. Generally, the person who best shrinks this gap of doubt, or whom best convinces the hiring manager that they have the skills and experience necessary to cross it, wins the job.

How do you do this?

  • You must make it clear on your resume and in your answers that you not only have the technical skills required for the position, that you have PROVEN competency in those technical skills. The best way to prove competency is by given detailed examples of how you have used these skills to achieve results (or successes) in the past. Before you arrive at an interview, you should write down (in detail) what these examples are that demonstrates your competency in that skill, and read them over and over so you are mentally ready to access them.
  • Research the company and the specific job that you are being interviewed for and ask yourself the following questions

“Why does organization exist? What its purpose? What products does it produce, or what service does it deliver?”

“What are the main problems this company needs to resolve in order to produce, market, or sell/deliver its products or service?

“What role does the position I am applying to or being interviewed for have in resolving these problems, or otherwise contributing to the success of the company?”

“How have I helped my past employers overcome similar problems? What value can I deliver for this company that would make them want to hire me, over another candidate?”

When you have answered these questions for yourself. Write your answers down and read them over and over, and practice saying them.   The goal is not be able to recite them perfectly at an interview, but to have them firmly in your mind, so you can easily access them under the stress of a job interview.

If you can answer these questions, and then discuss them during an interview, you will go a long ways to closing that gap, and increasing your chances of getting a job offer.