If you want to know why you got a new position and the guy next to you did not, here’s the answer: I wanted to hire you.
I wanted to hire you because you called me and asked about the job. You followed my instructions about applying online, and you followed up with a very brief message to let me know you were ready for next steps.
I wanted to hire you because, when I scheduled your interview, you showed up. You arrived just a few minutes early, while the other guy arrived an hour early, waited in the lobby for a while and then left, angry that I couldn’t see him before the time we had agreed on.
I wanted to hire you because, when I asked you about your background, you gave me clear explanations. You gave honest answers about the layoff last year and about the gap in your employment history. You didn’t say, “I decided to take some time off.” And you didn’t say, “It was due to restructuring,” when we both know the only position restructured at your company at that time was yours.
I wanted to hire you because you had a good handshake and a friendly smile and professional clothing. Some people smoke, but no one needs to know about it; the aroma of the other guy lingered for hours after he left.
I wanted to hire you because, when our new admin assistant fumbled with the testing software, you cheerfully and patiently waited. You didn’t scowl or stomp or comment under your breath.
I wanted to hire you because your skills fit the job description perfectly. You didn’t try to tell me you could learn quickly, that you always wondered what that work would be like or that you had skipped reading the job description altogether. You applied for a job you knew you could succeed at, and, in the end, that made all the difference.