This What Hiring Managers Are Really Looking For In Your Next Job Interview

Hiring managers have very little free time.  Actually, I have very little free time most of the time, but when I’am a team member down and having to cover their workload, I have even less free time.  

As a consequence, if you’re invited for a job interview, you’re 75% of the way to getting to getting that job. 

What’s The Hiring Manager Looking For?

​The hiring manager is looking for a candidate to achieve two things. Make their life more comfortable and make them look good to their manager. To get the all-important thumbs up from a hiring manager, you need to answer three main questions.Often these questions will be split into many more interview questions, but these are the three job interview questions that you need to answer correctly.Below I have tried to explain these points from the hiring managers point of view and give you a few ways which you can demonstrate these skills in the interview room.

Question One – Will You Fit the Company Culture/Team Culture?

All companies have a specific type of person they’re looking to hire that will suit their company culture. If you’re working in a hard-core sales environment such as telephone sales, its likely you’re going to have a very different personality than if you’re working in a family accounting office.The worst case scenario for a hiring manager is you start with the company, disrupt the team causing either work flow to decrease or you/current team members to leave. Yes there’re times when you’ve been brought it to make changes to a team, but the work flow will not stop.During the interview, the hiring manager will be asking themselves questions such as:

  • Do I like this person?
  • Do we get on well?
  • Can I work with this candidate?
  • Is this person going to work well with the rest of my team or are they going to cause trouble?
  • Does this candidate look and dress correctly?
  • Is this person a good fit and have the same values that I have?

Hiring Manager

Getting the hiring manager to like you as a person starts with your entrance and making sure you look professional.  As a hiring manager I want to see a professional walking into the interview room who looks the part.

After looking the part, the next plan is to get the hiring manager to like you as a person. This is easy but means that you need to build rapport with the hiring manager and spend the first ten minutes of your interview talking. As always, this does mean doing some preparation beforehand. I would highly recommend that you search both the company in the news and the hiring manager across LinkedIn and find a few points either to talk about or common points of interest. Maybe you have worked for the same company in the past or worked with the same manager. All these are easy topics of conversation to get the conversation going. 

How To Show You Fit The Company Culture

Interview preparation is crucial. If you already know what a company’s culture is like from your job interview preparation, you can adapt your answers to make sure you’re providing answers they want to hear.  

Typically, a company will have one of five different corporate cultures and ​while they’re very similar; you need to understand what a company focuses on.To find a company’s culture you’ve got three options

  • Company Website – Head over the company website and start reading. The key sections you should be reading are the ones about Employees, Career Development, Company Values, and Our People.  Reading the company site will give you a great insight to the company and what’s important to them.
  • Social Media Profiles – What a company is publishing on their social media sites each day can tell you a lot about a company and their values. Make sure you read as many different platforms as you can find and scroll into their history.
  • User Review Sites – Websites such as where past employees will give you a great insight to what the company is really like.

Question Number Two – Can You Do the Job?

​Hiring Managers are looking for candidates to complement their skills and take responsibility for an area of the business that they either do not have the time or do not want to complete.They want you to be able to complete the work on time, without mistakes and without the help of other people teaching you to do the job. The last thing a hiring manager wants to do is spend the first few months teaching you how to do the job that you’ve been hired for.

How Can you Demonstrate These Skills?

Demonstrating these skills is the easiest part of the interview. You’ve already presented your CV, which demonstrates your skills and experience. What’s left? Backing up your CV with examples to show your knowledge and answering fundamental job interview question to give the hiring manager an idea of where you want to be in the future. Make sure you structure your conversation when you talk about your current role and responsibilities. You should focus on taking in a mature way that explains in order, your responsibilities and what you do. It’s always a good idea to go into the small details rather than just using keywords. You don’t want to be jumping from one section of your responsibilities to another and then back to the first as makes your come across very immature, and makes the hiring managers job very difficult to work out whether you can do the job.

Question Number Three – Will You Stay For The Long Term?

The worst-case scenario for any hiring manager – they the position, train and invest into the the candidate and then they leave less than a year down the line. The hiring manager now has to repeat the hiring process which is very time consuming, and most importantly has no return on their investment.Worse still, the candidate leaves for a competing company. This means all their effort training you will now go into a competing company with that manager getting the return on investment.Will you stay for the long term? This is the most challenging part for you to get across to the interviewer. It’s vital that you find out what the hiring manager is looking for and make sure that your career plans fit into the three business expansion plans.

Follow Up

Remember, hiring is a nightmare and never an easy process for hiring manager or candidate.  

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Nick Jones

My name Nick Jones, I am a professional Head-Hunter with over 20 years of experience working all over the world. I specialise in out-of-the-box job search strategies to get your CV directly to the hiring manager, thus skipping any ATS portals or recruiters who think they're important.

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