You decide to apply for a new position. Finding something interesting, you send your resume or ask an agent to apply on your behalf. You are invited for an interview, which seems to go well, but are rejected after that first interview. What could have gone wrong?
In this series of tips, we will look at four areas that HR managers and interviewers are judging candidates, as they review your resume and meet people in person. These categories are: Ability, Willingness, Manageability, and Culture. These criteria can be useful in identifying what makes someone a good “fit” for a job. At this time, we will look at the first part, Ability.
In considering you for the position, an employer will heavily gauge your fit for a job opening on the information in your resume. The information in your resume will strongly affect whether an interview is granted, and remember: an interview at a gaishikei is No guarantee of a job offer.
Your resume is therefore the first stage where the employer can assess your abilities. So, what is ability? Simply put, it's whether or not a person can perform tasks without assistance. Some skills may have been learned on the job such as speaking politely on the phone, managing large teams, or training such as operating equipment or advanced Excel courses. For all skills, the questions in the interviewers' minds are:
- Is the information within the resume accurate?
- Does the applicant have the necessary skills and qualifications to do the required work?
- CAN he do the job?
Ability is typically first in the checklist for HR managers and interviewers to weed out weaker candidates, and to verify the depth of knowledge that an applicant has in a certain area. So how much information should you include on your resume? For example, stating three years of experience in a general administration position may be enough to interest an employer interested in hiring an office administrator. However, if the job requires working knowledge of payroll systems and you have no responsibility handling such functions, the process will not continue further once the employer realizes your limitation.
Also know the limits of your skills. Functional knowledge of a language is not the same as fluency in business communications, for example. In short: if you cannot do the job, or more importantly, if the employer does not Believe you can do the job, then you will not likely be considered, especially where job descriptions outline a need for a period of experience. That said, if the company is willing to train you, then it may be to your advantage to apply.
To sum up: understand before any interview what your skills are, whether they are learned formally or through on-the-job experience. Good luck!