What’s going through a hiring manager’s mind during an employment interview? The answer may surprise even the most experienced applicants. OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals, has identified five things every job seeker should know about the interview process from the employer’s point of view and offers tips addressing each one.
“Many job candidates may not recognize that hiring managers can be as anxious as they are during interviews because of the pressure to find just the right person,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Hiring mistakes are costly, in terms of the time and money invested and the toll on staff morale. Interviewers are looking for subtle clues the applicant has the right job skills and work ethic, and will fit in with new colleagues and the corporate culture.”
Hosking added, “Job seekers who do their homework and remain poised throughout the interview process will be able to engage in more productive, relevant conversations with prospective employers.”
Following are five things most hiring managers may be thinking about the interview but won’t tell you:
1. ‘I haven’t prepared in advance.’ You may have spent hours creating your resume, but there’s a good chance the hiring manager doesn’t remember exactly what’s on it.
Advice: Always have an extra copy of your resume handy, and offer to walk the potential employer through the highlights, particularly if he or she seems at a loss for questions.
2. ‘I’m wary of phonies.’ Think again before you claim that your greatest weakness is that you “work too hard.” Most hiring managers have heard it all before. Inauthentic responses are a red flag to employers.
Advice: Come to the interview with several job-related anecdotes in mind that reveal the real you and speak to how your specific talents can help the business. Don’t be afraid to show some personality.
3. ‘I love to talk about my company and myself.’ Interviewers are advised to let the candidate do most of the talking. But hiring managers are only human and enjoy discussing things they are passionate about, including their careers and interests.
Advice: Ask the prospective employer about his or her professional advancement within the company; this can yield valuable information about the growth potential at the firm and get the conversation going. You don’t have to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions.
4. ‘I may intentionally make you uncomfortable.’ Job seekers often rush to fill in awkward pauses between interview questions. Hiring managers hope that if they keep you talking, you’ll reveal more of yourself. They also may throw curveball questions to see how you react and to gain insight into your thought process.
Advice: Rather than rambling and potentially saying something you regret, keep your responses concise and on point. It’s OK to stop and collect your ideas before you begin to speak. Don’t be too concerned if you’re stumped by a tough interview question. Showing your reasoning skills is often more important than finding the right answer.
5. ‘I’m going to ask my assistant about you.’ Six in 10 executives surveyed by OfficeTeam said they consider their assistants’ opinions important when evaluating new hires. It should go without saying, but make sure you treat everyone you meet with respect when you arrive for an interview. You never know who may be weighing in on the hiring decision.
Advice: If the administrative professional isn’t busy, make polite small talk while you wait. Also, avoid irritating behaviors, such as loud cell phone conversations.
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