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Whether You're Hired For a Job Can Come Down To a Question Most of Us Overlook — Even If You're Perfectly Qualified

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It's hard not to take it personally when you make it to the end of the hiring process, only to get passed over.

But, according Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, there's always a chance the final decision didn't have much to do with you at all.

"A lot of times, finding the right fit for the role is not only about the individual that you're interviewing," she told Business Insider. "What skill set or kind of individual you want to round out the team? What people don't often realize is that the decision about who to hire often comes down to what we need on the team that we don't have today?"

By the time Duffy interviews any senior-level candidates looking to join Carnival's team, they've already been vetted to ensure they have the right credentials, experience, and skills. So she often looks out for softer skills during her conversations with applicants.

She also focuses on whether or not a candidate can complement the team they're looking to join.

"No one really is a stand-alone individual in our environment today," Duffy said.

For example, if there's an open spot on an extremely analytically-minded team, Duffy may spring for a creative thinker to fill the gap.

"Which is why it's hard for people sometimes when you don't choose them," she said. "They've checked all the boxes in their mind. And that may be true because so many people have such great qualifications. But it's understanding the broader team and what we're trying to accomplish."

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