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Hiring Manager Secrets

Adapted from "Career Building: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work"
the Editors at CareerBuilder.com

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Here's the bottom line: You have to get a job, you have to go to work, and someday, you'll probably have to change jobs. "CAREER BUILDING: Your Total Handbook for Finding a Job and Making It Work" (Collins Business) is a one-stop guide for navigating all those times in your career.

If you worry about every possible way you can blow a job interview  -- from mispronouncing the boss's name to babbling incessantly when you don't know what else to say -- you're going to walk in there feeling like you're destined to fail. True, job interviews are rife with opportunities for you to embarrass yourself, but hiring managers are more forgiving than you might think. We consulted some hiring experts about what is really going on inside their heads when interviewing job applicants. They offered the following insights:

They like you. They really like you.
Most hiring managers come to the interview wanting to hire you. They are hoping you are the best person for the job and can start when they need you. After all, you made it to the interview didn't you?

Show you are confident, even if you have to fake it.
Most hiring managers come to the interview wanting to hire you. They are hoping you are the best person for the job and can start when they need you. Have confidence. If you are frustrated with your job search, don't let that negativity show to the employer. Your pessimism can be a turnoff. Even if it's a temporary attitude brought on by rejection, the hiring manager might think it's your overall attitude. After all, you made it to the interview didn't you?

Don't apologize for being out of work.
A layoff can happen to anyone. What do you do if it happens to you? Don't be ashamed -- in today's climate, layoffs occur (unfortunately) daily. Many job seekers are in your shoes. Don't apologize. Instead, focus on the job you are interviewing for by showcasing your skills and exhibiting how you are the best fit.

Target your job search.
While you don't need to possess every single skill listed on a posting, you should at least be qualified for the position and prove that you have transferable skills. Your targeted résumé will help prove you're a serious candidate and have the right qualifications for the position. If you're spending time applying for jobs you're not qualified for, you're wasting valuable time you could be devoting to a position that's a better fit. If you recognize where your strengths lie and what transferable skills you possess, you'll see better results than if you apply to any posting you come across.

Get primed.
"Tell me what you know about the company" or "Why would you fit in well here?" have become staple interview questions, so don't be caught off guard. Shrugging your shoulders and saying, "I don't know" isn't going to score you points. Look at the company's Web site and read press releases and newspaper articles to see what's going on with your prospective future boss. In addition to prepare for the interview, you'll learn whether the company and its culture are a right fit for you.

They don't want to hear what you think they want to hear
Interviewers have gotten very smart to picking up if someone's spewing something they've memorized from a book. By only saying what they think the employer wants to hear, job candidates are simply putting on an act, and employers can see right through that. You have to be yourself in an interview and you have to be sincere.

They don't expect you to have all the answers
Employers are more interested in how you find answers to things you don't know than if you pretend to know something you don't. In some cases, the interviewer may ask a question that he or she doesn't expect you to be able to answer simply to see how you handle it. If you ever find that you don't know the answer to an interviewer's question, the best thing to do is to admit that you don't know, but either add that you could give an educated guess or provide a way you might go about finding the answer. Most important, if you don't know, don't try to fake it. Not knowing is OK. Making something up or pretending to know is not.

They want you to want them
You need to express genuine interest in the job or the company. As much as the recruiter wants to sell the candidate on the position and company, the recruiter also wants to know that the candidate actually wants to work in that position or for that company.


From the editors of CareerBuilder.com, CAREER BUILDING is filled with the statistics, tips and priceless information on job-hunting and working in the digital age, including good and bad résumé samples, using social networking, searching online, résumé "keywords" and e-mail mistakes to avoid. In today's unstable economic climate, CAREER BUILDING is the guide you can't afford to go without.



Last Updated: 01/05/2009 - 12:47 PM


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