What the Hiring Manager Actually Thinks During Your Interview

Whether you’ve interviewed over a million times or you can count on one hand how many times you’ve met face-to-face with a hiring manager , the process is always stressful. Not only are you struggling to present the very best version of yourself, you are also trying to read your audience and gather as much information as possible about the role, culture of the company, and the organization itself. No pressure.

Ask any manager what it’s like to make a hiring decision, and they’ll likely tell you that it’s not an easy task for her either. Making the right choice can be difficult, especially when she is choosing from a group of highly qualified candidates. So how do you tip the scales in your favor? In addition to coming to every interview well prepared, try to put yourself in the shoes of the person across from you.

Last time I checked, no one has figured out how to read minds yet, but we can get pretty close to that by addressing five common thoughts that almost every hiring manager probably has during your interview.

1. Can I control this person?

The boss is not going to hire someone he doesn’t think he can work with. Managers come in all shapes and sizes – some stay out of the way and expect their employees to do what they need to, with little or no oversight. Others enjoy getting daily updates, rigorously reviewing timesheets, and scheduling regular follow-up meetings with their staff. If you enjoy getting regular feedback and crave meeting with your boss, the laid-back person may not be the best fit for you. Conversely, if you’re an independent operator who loves autonomy, a hands-on leader is probably not the right fit for your work style.

So, when your potential future boss starts to think about what suits you as a manager and employee during an interview, what can you do? For starters, you can show that you are a great listener by making eye contact, taking notes, asking questions, and giving thoughtful answers. Mention that you take pride in taking responsibility for your contributions in the workplace, value constructive feedback, and look forward to continuing to develop your skills. Demonstrating a willingness to own your work, listen and learn will definitely score a few points in your favor.

At some point during the meeting, you should also have the opportunity to ask a few questions. Try asking your potential boss how she would describe her management style. If her answer matches your preference, say, “Sounds great! I find myself working very well with managers who are on hand and give a lot of detailed feedback ”or“ This is very much in line with my work style. Having a certain degree of autonomy in doing my job helps me maximize my productivity. “

If you find your future boss ’s leadership style is not right for you, it may be time to evaluate if the job is right for you.

2. Does this person really understand this role?

Interviewers want to make sure that you not only know what you are getting into, but that you have done your homework. Before the interview, be sure to carefully read the job description and try to connect your existing experience with the responsibilities you will be performing in the position for which you are being considered.

Most hiring managers usually start with a couple of simple questions, such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you interested in this position?” This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the role. Say something that indicates you are getting what the job entails and why your experience fits: “I have four years of experience in manufacturing management and specialize in supplier relationships. I know vendor management will be an important component of this role, so I am especially excited about this opportunity ”or“ I am passionate about social media and specifically targeting opportunities that will allow me to expand my experience in this area. I know one of my main responsibilities in this role will be writing and scheduling tweets for the company’s Twitter account, and I have some great ideas on how I can help you reach your followers. “

Another great way to show that you understand why you are going to an interview is to ask questions about the job as soon as you demonstrate that you have done more than just read the job description. Say, “What are your traffic goals for Twitter and what resources do you think will help you achieve that goal?”

Once you can go beyond the job listing to demonstrate an impressive understanding of your responsibilities, you should do so. To paraphrase just the job title is a waste of both yours and the recruiter’s time.

3. Does this person really enjoy working here?

Like a deep understanding of potential opportunities, it is important to show that you truly admire the organization as a whole. Of course, not every interview will be with the company of your dreams, but try to find something interesting for you.

Has the company recently been named one of the best places to work in your area? What department would you work in creating new innovative products? Was the CEO recently mentioned in a respected post? Spend some time researching and reading any recent trending articles you may link to during your interview.

Along with asking if you are really excited about the opportunity, the interviewer will want to evaluate if you are the right fit. During the meeting, take the opportunity to ask about the team, their work style and company culture. This will not only show that you are genuinely passionate about exploring the organization as a whole, rather than just focusing on the position you are applying for, but it will demonstrate that you, too, care about being the right person for the job.

4. Will this person make me look good?

To a certain extent, the performance of an employee is a reflection of its leader. Your potential boss-to-be wants to make sure that if he takes a day off or can’t show up for a meeting, you will still be at your best. If you do a great job and introduce yourself, she will look good too. If you’re fooling around while your boss is on vacation, or if you don’t read this very important letter, the person she reports to is likely not to be overly pleased with either of you.

What is the best way to reassure your future manager that you are completely trustworthy? Find out what she values ​​about a team member. Try asking, “What qualities are most important to you in an employee?” or “What do you expect from the person who takes this role?” If her answers match your work style, be sure to tell her about it. For example, if your interviewee says that they value clear communication above all else, say, “I cannot agree with that. I always try to keep my team and my manager up to date on my accomplishments, workload and availability. I’ve found that maintaining open lines of communication is essential for optimizing productivity and teamwork. ”

At the end of the interview , when your prospective manager asks if you have anything to add, try pointing out, “I really appreciate all the information you shared with me about what it is like to work here and your expectations of the position. … I think my experience and work style would suit this team very well. I want you to know that as an employee you can count on me to be active, responsive and time-oriented. ”

This response shows that you are paying attention and is a good indicator of your professional behavior.

5. When is lunch?

Interviewing can be exhausting for people on the other side of the table too, especially if the hiring manager is meeting multiple candidates in a row. This does not happen during every interview, but sometimes the interviewer’s thoughts will wander. He may be hungry, he may be tired, or he may be distracted by an impending deadline, but regardless of the reason for the distraction, it does.

Obviously, you have no control over the external factors that can influence your interviewer’s state of mind, but you can work towards becoming the most interesting and engaging interviewer you can be. Hire a friend to help you practice some of the most frequently asked interview questions and ask for his or her opinion on your body language , eye contact, tone of voice, and the content of your responses. Are you looking down when you speak, or are you speaking in a dull, monotonous voice? If you feel like your answers aren’t interesting, you can’t expect someone else to be interested too.

Another key trick to remember? Keep your answers short and sweet. Many people tend to chat when they are nervous, and this can make it seem like the meeting is dragging on. Try to create exceptional responses using this simple formula: answer + example + result. For example, in response to the question “How do you manage your time?” say, “I manage my time by prioritizing my responsibilities. For example, if I am working on two projects at the same time, I always take on a more complex one or an earlier one. This has helped me be very effective in my past roles. In fact, I regularly receive compliments for my ability to handle a heavy workload without missing out on deadlines. ”

Keep in mind that the goal here is not just to tell the interviewer what you think she wants to hear. The goal is to proactively answer the questions she is likely to ask herself during your meeting. The purpose of the interview is not to find a job, but for you and your potential future employer to assess whether you are the right fit for each other. Being well prepared and actively participating in the interview will serve that purpose and make you look like a star.

5 Things Your Hiring Manager May Think About During Your Job Interview (And What To Do About It) | Muse


Leave a Reply