From the Hiring Manager’s Chair: 4 Job Interview Secrets

A Hiring Manager Perspective on Interviewing

There are thousands of websites and books ready to teach you “How to interview for a job.” My goal is to show you how to be THE BEST in today’s new era of job search, to give a great interview!

Face it, the hiring and recruiting process has changed since the last time you interviewed. It’s way more competitive, and your interview can make or break your chances. I’m here to help you increase your odds of winning the job as a result of a great interview. A “good” interview is no longer good enough.

4 Principles of Job Interviews

1. The Interviewer has an agenda. Know their agenda. During the interview process, there are really only three questions that need to be answered to help the HR person, hiring manager, or interviewer determine if you’re the right fit for the job:

  • Can this person do the job?
  • Will he/she do the job?
  • Will he/she fit in with the company culture?

2. The interview is all about THEM: the company, the hiring manager, the interviewer. News flash: It’s not about YOU sharing all you can about YOU. Everything you say and do must be relevant and meaningful to THEM. Be very careful.

Here’s an example:

Question: Why are you interested in this job?

A ‘YOU’ Answer: Because I have worked 10 years in this industry, I am strong with analytics and great with cross-group collaboration. I also think your company has great growth opportunities for my career.

A “THEM” Answer: Because your team is facing challenges and opportunities that I want to contribute to. I believe I can fill your needs for an analytical leader who can lead diverse groups of teams.

3. The interview is your performance of a lifetime. You are being watched with every step you take, every move you make, including how you look. Think about it. From a company perspective, this is your BEST day. You have your best outfit on, you have been able to prepare with research, and you can say amazing things about yourself and even brag a little.

If you can’t be a great listener or communicator on this day, OR if you make huge errors such as bad-mouthing a prior boss, then you probably won’t win this job.

Don’t be fooled by venue, either. In this new era of job search, you may be meeting in a Starbucks café or on a web conference. Or the meeting might be called an “informational” or information-gathering meeting, which is really an interview in disguise. Alternatively, the meeting might be with a friend of a friend who might have the job you are looking for. Your safest bet: If there is a job involved, put that interview guard UP and keep it UP to avoid any mistakes.

4. You can’t over-prepare for an interview. In my 30+ years of hiring, interviewing, and recruiting for other teams, and coaching, I have NEVER heard a hiring manager say, “Wow, that candidate was too prepared for my interview,” or, “No way, she was too organized and had answers to every question I asked.”

The #1 measure of your job search success is the number of interviews you are getting. So when you get one, make it great!

What are some of your interview challenges? Share them in the comments section here.


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