Why did they hire someone with lower qualifications?

Friday February 14 2020


By Jane Muiruri

I am so stressed and frustrated. I recently applied for a job through the company website, was called for an interview where I was made to take three online tests, and then I went through two oral interviews.

After all this, they hired my friend who is a lot less qualified than I am in terms of academic qualifications and years of experience. How could they do this to me? How can I feel better about myself? I feel so useless. Could my friend have bribed the interview panel?

The sole purpose of interviews is to get the right candidate for the job through an elimination process. Interviewers look for technical skills, experience, ability to work as part of a team, and soft skills like problem solving, effective communication, and good work ethics, among others.

Employers have found out that they are better off hiring an employee with limited experience but who has the capacity to learn through training. Modern interviewers hire individuals with admirable attitudes, then train them in the skills required.

A candidate could also be experienced in a particular profession, but lack specific skills which may be desired at the new workplace. With the right attitude, and as long as they are receptive to training, they can learn and adapt quickly.

There are many CV experts who assist candidates draft very impressive CVs, but when taken through a rigorous interview process, a mismatch is found between the document presented, and the candidate’s abilities. It is good to have a well prepared CV, but make sure you know everything that is in it so that you can authenticate the competencies and experience levels stated therein.


I wonder how you know your friend lacks the experience required for the role. The interview might have considered other attributes that gave her a competitive advantage. It might be worthy to celebrate your friend and even get a few tips on what endeared her to the recruiters.

Jane Muiruri
Senior HR Manager,
Nation Media Group