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You may have the right qualifications, but will your personality stop you getting the job?

Published on Saturday, 26 Sep 2015
You may have the right qualifications, but will your personality stop you getting the job?

An employee with a degree and a great personality fit is more likely to excel compared to an employee with the same degree but with a bad personality fit. Many hiring managers feel that seeking professionals with the desired personality fit is as difficult as finding a candidate with the right educational background and skill sets for the company. Which is more important in securing that job offer today? 

Increasingly, companies are starting to prioritise personality in the hiring process. Personality plays a big role in your day-to-day job tasks, and in the long run, these traits will show and interact with your working experience and achievements. Employers and hiring managers increasingly recognise the link between job responsibilities and personality traits needed to excel and flourish. 

Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin, prides himself on prioritising personality when hiring. He emphasises choosing candidates who fit in with the company’s culture before even considering qualifications. He further claims that it is better to be short on talent than have an employee with a bad cultural fit. After finding the “winning” personality he then looks at the candidate’s qualifications.

Other large companies such as McKinsey & Co and CVS Caremark now require potential staff to take personality tests before applying for positions.

According to the American Management Association, 20-25 per cent of an employee’s effectiveness is attributed to their personality. While your degree, qualifications and related work experience will get you an interview, your personality is what makes you stand out and excel in both the interview and at work. 


This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Getting personal.

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