Job Search Myth 1.06: The Most Qualified Person Wins the Job

Executive Job Search Myth Buster
It’s time for another Executive Job Search Myth Buster.


“After the interview, the most qualified person gets the offer.”


Just because you look great on paper does not guarantee you the job. Hiring managers don’t hire the most qualified person. They hire the one they want to work with the most.

In some ways, a job interview is similar to a first date. It’s a sniff test: Your possible next boss is thinking, “Sure, they looked great on paper, but is this candidate attractive in real life? Are they really interested in me, too, or am I just a rebound date (following a painful breakup with their last company)? Are they intelligent? Optimistic? Do they have the passion and drive to add positively to the work we do?”

Chemistry counts. Attitude counts. Marketing really counts. Every time you do a job interview, you’re marketing. You’re either selling the story of your purpose, worth and enthusiasm, or you’re not. happy-green-dragonAnd usually, you get what you put in.

My Advice:


Find a story arc to your career, and tell it during every interview. Help your possible next boss understand why your prior path and your new path are part of one journey. Persuade them that you are making the change you want in your career, not just reacting to some external event (like losing your last job).

Remember when I said a job interview is a lot like a first date? Every job is different. Every boss is different. But I would bet this is who your next boss wants to meet:

  • The person they believe can solve their problem
  • Someone they find non-threateningly attractive: right talent, mad skills, amiable and, well, easy to like
  • A person they’ll be happy to see at work every morning (this could be the definition of chemistry)
  • A person who isn’t bitter or angry about “the divorce” from their last company (referring to your ex-boss as evil Lord Voldemort will not advance your cause at all)
  • Someone who isn’t just playing the field (“any job will do”), but actually knows what they want and, through their conviction, inspires their boss to join them on their career path

At the end of the first date interview, you and your next boss should both be signaling, “What’s next?” That’s how you’ll know you’ve made it on to the “Let’s Hire!” list.

Here’s one more piece of advice from ExecuNet Founder and CEO, Dave Opton, on the power of first impressions.

I hope you’re blessed with many opportunities today.


Anthony Vlahos

Anthony Vlahos

Tony Vlahos is the Chief Marketing Officer of ExecuNet. Since 2014, he has hosted the original web series ExecuNet Master Class. Tony interviews the world’s top business thinkers, writers, and leaders.

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