This research has identified that employers prefer to hire people they like and who they think they'll be able to get on with, rather than going for the candidate with the best academic qualifications. Hardly surprising. If anything else was the case, employers wouldn't need to interview candidates. They’d save themselves a lot of time and cost if they got candidates to submit authenticated academic records and give the job to the person with the highest scores. It turns out that this is a risk no employer is comfortable with taking.
What most employers are looking for in job applicants are attributes that aren't learned at a school, polytechnic or university. They want to hire people who are engaging and interesting, passionate about the value they can bring to their place of work, who have a positive attitude, good values, great interpersonal skills, reliability, a commitment to self-improvement, and so on. In summary, employers are more interested in a candidate’s “soft” skills. They’re prepared to take the “hard” skills as a given.
Unfortunately this reality is lost on many people, particularly some students and also their parents who encourage them.
I’m not against those who aspire to academic excellence but I think that this shouldn’t be an end in itself. Students who lock themselves away grinding out an A+ academic record should also note that they’re only going to be teenagers once in their lives. There are things like hanging out with fun friends, playing sport, taking time to read, dream and let one’s imagination run wild that will help create a stronger impression with a prospective employer than will getting a 98% average in the Baccalaureate examinations. Who knows, they may lose out to somebody with a C+ degree who interviews really well and who will fit in well to any workplace.