Want to know what a hiring manager is thinking while scanning resumes? Or maybe how the hiring manager views potential candidates during an interview? You would have a distinct advantage if you could read the mind of the hiring manager. So let’s take a look at the hiring manager’s decision-making process, what’s important, and how to prepare.
It’s really simple. A hiring manager wants to know three things about candidates:
- How is this candidate going to contribute to the results of my organization?
- Does this candidate have the critical skill sets for success short and longer term?
- Will this candidate be a positive influence in my organization or a disruptive force?
Impacting results: Hiring managers are looking for candidates to contribute to their results: To reach key objectives, within a budget, on time, and produce results for the organization. If you can’t add value, why would a boss be interested? Show the decision makers that you have accomplished similar results, or can produce equal or better results in the future. How? Show measurable successes paralleling the results for which they are looking. If you can’t, they will seek someone else who can. Your prior results must guarantee that you can succeed over all others.
Critical skill sets: Hiring managers are looking for candidates who have critical skills they need to fill a hole in their work group. Unless you have unique skills, you must meet about 70% of the needs of the open position to be considered for an interview. Anything less and you’ll not make the cut. Every job has critical skills that must be met by the top candidates. These skills are listed on the position description and are usually at the top of each “must have” grouping. Sometimes you can interchange one skill set with another if they are comparable.
Organizational fit: Hiring managers are looking for candidates who will complement, supplement and comfortably interact with the current staff. Candidates must be a “team” player. A disruptive force will hinder the work, plus take time and effort to straighten out the problems. Conflict within a working group will negatively affect performance. Hiring managers understand this dynamic and will take steps to prevent it. That’s why the work team is often involved in the interviewing process: Not as a decision maker, but certainly as an influence affective the decision. Peers have a genuine insight as to who will work out and who will not.
When interviewing, you have about an hour with each individual or group to help them understand your potential contribution to their results, gain their trust, then influence them that you are the best choice to hire. Stick to the basics: Validate your past performance and results; show how your critical skills are compatible with the skill set required; and show you’re a team player.
You need to fit their culture and want to be one of them.
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