Oxford’s online dictionary defines “capability” as “the power or ability to do something” and “the extent of someone’s ability”.


That last part is interesting to me, and represents something a critical mentor to me once explained…


“Capability” he said, “is the combination of being able to do something, your ability, to its maximum, your capacity”.


This informs one of my fundamental beliefs, that what hiring managers are really looking for in interviews is the collective conscious conclusion coupled with the subconscious feeling that the person their interviewing is capable of solving their current problems; i.e., getting things done.  To expectations.  With little to know hand holding.  Otherwise, they’d solve their problems and wouldn’t need to hire another person.


Which informs another of my beliefs; veterans have significant amounts of experience solving complex problems in extreme situations within large organizations, often against resistance and under time and uncertainty constraints, through others, for others, with complete ingenuity and resolve.


So regardless of what you did veteran, or what you read on their resume hiring manager, have a chat about what you did, why you did it, and what happened because of your contribution through others, for others, until closure.  The hiring conversation is to discover the candidate’s capability; can I hire them and they do what I hired them to do.  Very few interviewees will have the experience necessary to fulfill the role and solve the problems because they haven’t yet done it, we’re speculating.  On what?  Capability to do it.

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