What Are Hiring Managers Looking For?

by Chandler Barr Apr 6,2016

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

What are hiring managers looking for? And what would they like to avoid? If you are currently job hunting, or plan to do so in the near future, then these are answers that you need to know. There’s no magic charm to get that your job you have been badly wanting. But, there are a few do’s and don’ts that can help you get one step closer to getting that job. Read on to find out what those do’s and don’ts are.

1. Do not lie on your resume

You would think that this is something people know they shouldn’t do. And yet, people lie. What people do not realize is that, before a hiring manager calls you, they’ve done their research. And if they find that your resume doesn’t add up, the interview process will stall right there. And they will then go on to have a really bad impression of you. Assuming that your subterfuge is found after you’ve received the job, your company will not be able to trust you ever again. It’s a bad idea. Do not think about it, or even attempt it, thinking that you will be one of the lucky ones who gets away with it. So it is crucial to ensure that your resume accurately reflects your skills and experiences. Opt for a resume template that not only presents your qualifications in the best light but also encourages honesty and clarity.

2. There’s a thin line between enthusiasm and desperation

Hiring managers want you to display some enthusiasm but when that enthusiasm turns to desperation, many of them will be rightly put off. Yes, sometimes your circumstances might be less than good and your desperation is understandable. But for a hiring manager who does not know you, that kind of behaviour is only going to come across as annoying.

Also Read: 10 One On One Meeting Questions You Should Ask Your Team

3. Dress to impress

You might be a style maven at your previous office or in your free time, but when you meet hiring managers, its best to tone down your style and play it safe. Companies don’t always make their dress codes public or even if they are known for making them public, the hiring manager expects you to show for an interview suitably dressed.

4. Dress for the job you want

There’s a joke on social media that says dress for the job you want. Which is true. But many people interpret it wrongly. Dress for the job you want, means, show up for a job interview looking like you are interested in the job and invested in it. Which means, showing up neat and clean, not the other way round. And do not in any circumstances, show up dressed like Batman. We all want to be Batman but even Batman knows better than to wear a Bat-suit all the time.

5. You are not flawless, don’t present yourself as such

When hiring managers ask you for your flaws, you are expected to list genuine flaws, not flaws that compliment you in some way. Being a perfectionist is not a flaw. On the other hand, being timid is. Before you go for an interview, you could list out a set of qualities and flaws that apply to you. It would also be good to have an answer prepared to tell hiring managers how you plan on fixing those flaws.

Also Read: Getting 360 Reviews Right

6. Tailor your cover letter according to the job

The same cover letter is not going to work for all jobs. It only takes a few minutes to tailor it according to the job you are applying for. Those extra few minutes that you spend on sprucing up your cover letter could be the very thing that gets you a new job.

7. They actually look at all the little details

When you are being interviewed, a hiring manager is taking note of all your mannerisms, utterances and behaviours. If you talk confidently, are fluent and seem qualified but cannot look them straight in the eye, they’d note it down as a red flag. If you have a tendency to fidget with your hands or gesture excessively, a hiring manager looks at that too. Do not go to an interview is not going to pay attention to details. They begin to notice and take stock of things the moment you walk in.

8. When the time comes for asking questions, ask questions

At the end of the interview, ask questions. Ask questions about the job role, ask what the organization ideally expects. Do not stay quiet. Hiring managers are more likely to consider you if you seem interested and ask the right questions.

9. Do your homework

For the love of god, before you go for an interview, do your homework about the organization. Its in bad taste to show up there and appear clueless. Or even appear without a resume, like I have seen quite a few applicants do so.

10. Don’t stalk a hiring manager

Once an interview is done, don’t haunt the hiring manager waiting for an answer. A good manager will get back to you fast. Do not bombard them with phone calls or emails wanting to know about the status of the applicant. They will consider you pushy and reject you on the basis of that. Also, it is annoying.

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Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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