How An Interviewer Decides If You Are The Best Person For The Job


How is an interviewer actually assessing you?


Interviewers assess candidates during interview on three levels – your competencies, motivations and your cultural fit with an organisation. This, coupled with the style in which you present yourself, will dictate whether or not you’ll get that job offer.


Competency Fit

A competency is a skill or ability such as leadership, communication skills, problem solving etc.

Employers are likely to score you on predetermined competencies which are are often present on the job spec.

Competencies will be assessed based on the evidence from your answers provided at interview,


Interview Preparation Tips:

1. Understand the competencies being sought.

2. Prepare real world examples related to the job spec that best demonstrate each competency using the SAR formula:

  • Situation: Outline the context of the scenario
  • Action: Describe the specific action you took (this will demonstrate your competency)
  • Result: Outline the specific result and the impact relating back to the context. Quantify results where possible (i.e. revenue growth, customer satisfaction etc.) and describe the impact on company values.

3. Practice your style of delivery.


Motivational Fit

Here employers are assessing whether the jobseeker’s career trajectory meets that of the job opportunity.

It is vital that you express your desire towards both the company and the job – i.e. you want this specific role in this specific company, above all others.


Interview Preparation Tips:

  1. Research the company. Knowing the company history is the bare minimum; you need to showcase a deeper understanding of the company and its position in the market.
  2. Understand the job and where it sits within the organisation. Be prepared for questions such as “what do you see as the day-to-day duties of the role?” or “how do you see the position developing should you be successful?”
  3. Self-Awareness. Be aware of your skills and what you can contribute so that you can align this with the opportunity.
  4. Compete. Know your value proposition and sell yourself on your unique skills and strengths. Your attitude needs to be confident in competency while being humble in approach. Focus here on what you can do for the company.


Cultural Fit:

Cultural fit refers to a shared belief in values between the employer and potential employee – here you must align your personality to that of the organisation.

You can do this by identifying shared values and showing how you have shaped these values/similar values in other organisations.


Interview Preparation Tips:

  1. Research the company’s mission statement, vision and philosophy. Understand the underlying values of the company and how you can impact these.
  2. Questions on cultural fit may not always be asked directly. Instead it is a sub-theme and is being assessed from the moment you walk into the interview. Try to incorporate “company language” from your research on the company values e.g. high performance, trust, transparency etc., and other words and terms used on their website.
  3. Back up these phrases with achievements and how you have impacted on these values.
  4. Engage with the interviewers, lean in and bring all of you to the interview.



Linking in to the capability framework is the style of interview. This refers to your style of delivery and how you can be impressive and make an impact in an interview setting.


Style is not superficial and interviewers do take this into consideration from the first minute of the interview to the last. Style of delivery can influence your score on each competency and therefore dramatically increase your chances of securing a job offer


Key characteristics sought by interviewers:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Sincerity
  • Confidence
  • Positivity , warmth and engagement
  • And above all likability!


Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 29 November 2017

Related Content


“K-shaped” Workforce Patterns Begin to Emerge with Major Spike in Flexi-labour

“K-shaped” Workforce Patterns Begin to Emerge with Major Spike in Flexi-labour

The latest data from Sigmar Recruitment’s Employer Sentiment Report suggests that most companies plan on hiring more contingent labour in order to deal with the extended market turbulence. Having surveyed 1000 Irish based companies, 91% of respondents said they are more likely to hire temps or contractors than before COVID-19. Commenting on the results, Barry Rudden, Director, Sigmar Recruitment says; “This may signify a fundamental shift in how workforces will be constituted moving forward as employers are wary of future market shocks. Whilst demand has rebounded since March, companies just don’t know how the market will react to a possible second wave of infections, topped with Brexit fears, so there are still challenges ahead for organisations and as a result they are hesitant to commit to permanent hires.” One third of all companies surveyed said it was likely or highly likely that they would increase the % of temp/contract staff they already engage. “This is the norm in early stages of an extended recovery. Seeing this trend emerge at polar ends of the labour market is indicative of a new K-Shaped labour market.” says Rudden. He adds; “When viewed, in parallel with the explosion of the gig economy in the last decade, we now see increasing demand for temporary or contract workers in most white-collar industries, not just the traditional area of office/administration roles.” Companies surveyed expected requirements for temp/contract talent to be highest across IT, engineering & life sciences, accountancy, and HR along with office/administration. Hiring on a temporary or contract basis gives organisations an opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ i.e. hiring initially on a temporary basis before converting to permanent. “Given companies’ uncertainty at present, this model is potentially a perfect solution that enables businesses to ramp up and meet demand while the future looks uncertain. At the same time, it enables jobseekers to find work quickly. In our corresponding survey of 3500 candidates, the majority said they were more likely to consider temp or contract work than before the COVID-19 pandemic struck,” says Rudden. Flexible labour in demand at polar ends of the economy; powering growth in recovering sectors and offering interim cover for harder hit sectors 91% of employers plan to expand contingent worker numbers as increasing uncertainty looms 82% of candidates would consider temp or contract positions if given more flexibility, like remote working Further, 82% of candidates said they would be more likely to consider temp or contract work if they were offered flexibility, such as remote working. This is significant change in attitude considering 60% of respondents had not worked in a temporary or contract capacity in the past two years. Rudden adds, “It likely not only reflects the impact of the current crisis in terms of people having lost employment but perhaps a wider acceptance that flexibility may be required as we move forward.” Whilst market uncertainty prevails, what is certain is that we are in the midst of an extended period of transformation in the workplace with blended workforces i.e. a mix of permanent and temp/contract staff perhaps becoming the norm. “Prior to COVID-19 there were already several examples of major multinationals with a significant proportion of staff engaged as agency temps or contractors. We predict an increase in such models being used by other businesses going forward,” says Rudden. For a copy of the report, contact Barry Rudden on +35314744612 or email