TORONTO—What’s going through a hiring manager’s mind during an employment interview? The answer may surprise even the most experienced applicants. OfficeTeam, a staffing service for administrative professionals, has identified five things every job seeker should know about the interview process from the employer’s point of view.
Five things most hiring managers may be thinking:
“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 what’s on it.
Advice: Bring an extra copy of your resume and offer to walk the potential employer through the highlights, particularly if he or she seems at a loss for questions.
“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 and inauthentic responses are a red flag.
Advice: Come to the interview with several job-related anecdotes in mind that speak to how your specific talents can help the business. Don’t be afraid to show some personality.
“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.
“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. Stop and collect your ideas before you begin to speak and 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.
“I’m going to ask my assistant about you.”
Nearly 69 per cent of 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 behaviours, such as loud cell phone conversations.