How A Hiring Manager Really Evaluates You

You aced the interview. You gave all the right answers. You even asked the hiring manager thought-provoking questions that were relevant to the industry and to the business. You stayed up all night researching the position. You knew the right answers backwards and forwards.

And yet…no dice. Maybe they never called you back. Maybe they did call you back but refused to pinpoint where you went wrong. “The other candidate was more experienced,” they might’ve said. Alternatively, “We were looking for someone with a great sales record.”

Some of those explanations may well be true. Another explanation as likely as any other is that you were being evaluated when you guard was down and you didn’t make the grade. Hiring managers know all kinds of tricks to get behind the artificial facades we put up when we’re being interviewed. It’s important to make sure all your bases are covered.

Job Interview

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Waiting in the lobby: Who ever is manning the front desk gets the privilege of a first impression. Don’t think this person is not communicating with the hiring manager. This means sitting up straight in your chair, not fidgeting or re-plaiting your hair. Have some manners. Befriend the receptionist. Make that person fall for you.

Mind your references: All of them. That means a lot more than the people you listed on your resume. What is your former employer (you know, the one who fired you) going to say about you? If you spent five years at a job and you haven’t got a reference from them, that’s a big red flag. A hiring manager might call them first. Make sure you’ve sorted references from every job you’ve spend a significant amount of time at, no matter what the outcome.

Social media profiles: Always (always!) assume someone is checking out your social media profiles. All of them. Even if you’ve mastered your privacy settings. Even if you’ve got your profile locked up every which way. You don’t know who the hiring manager knows. They have contacts. Assume everyone is a hacker and make those profiles as clean as it can possibly be.

Give special attention to your LinkedIn Profile: It had better not conflict with anything on your resume. You had better not be sharing nasty information about your ex-employer all over the internet.

Questions you aren’t prepared for: Sometimes it’s not even a question. Like silence, for example. That’s a big evaluator. Read about some more off-the-wall questions here. Never assume you’ve prepared every question. You wouldn’t want to. When the hiring manager asks, “If you had a million dollars, how would you spend it?,” they’re looking to learn something about you. It’s okay to talk about yourself a little bit, say what you like and open up a bit. If you hit it off and find communal points of interest with the hiring manager, it might be the thing that gets you the job.

You want to be hired for you. You can’t fake it. It’s important to let your personality shine through all the time. Be on your best behaviour all the time, but don’t let that stop you from expressing yourself honestly.

You don’t want to be hired for a persona that doesn’t truly define who you are. That’s a surefire way to make sure you don’t fit into the team you’re hired for. Then you’ll have to go back to the job-hunt grind anyway.

Honesty rules in the job hunt. Not too much honesty. But enough.

Amy Knapp is an HR blogger for InsideTrak, where you can find all the latest Healthcare Jobs and much more.

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