What You Know is Not a Substitute for What You Need to Know

Submitted by Jeff Galas on Mon, 02/20/2017 - 09:19
job interview

“Experience alone is not a teacher.”  -W. Edwards Deming


Over the course of my career people act on information they have.  Often this information is incomplete at best and at worst not relevant.


The key to making good decisions is understanding the critical factors that drive the outcome or result you are looking for. Gathering as much of the information around those critical factors as possible and driving the discussion around that information. If the information is not around the critical factor, it is not relevant. If you do not have the information around the critical factor, you can’t substitute it with what information you do have.


A perfect example is when hiring or promoting, the critical factors are the responsibilities needed and the outcome that role needs to drive. The decision around hiring to that position should be: "Can this person do that job?" 

Experience is not a critical factor nor relevant, although it often gets accepted. Often, the standard hiring manager doesn’t do the due diligence to create tests against the skills needed to succeed in the role.


If an employer will not hire you nor promote you because they state you do not have the experience and will not specify what skills are missing that you would gain from that experience, you should question if they are capable of coaching you and growing your abilities.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.