Do you tend to be nervous—sometimes to the point of panic or paranoia—when you're about to be interviewed for a job? Do you wonder if you'll emerge as the candidate of choice or if you'll blow your chances because your nervousness might get the better of you?
To help ease those nerves, it's best to know what the hiring manager is looking for in a job interview. Here are three questions that typical hiring managers have in their minds that they want clear answers to by the time the interview is over.
- I know this person has the skills to do the job, but will she fit in with my team and our company culture? If you make it to the interview, chances are you presented your skills and experience so effectively on your resume that the hiring manager is quite sure you can do the job. But in the interview, the hiring manager wants to gauge your personality and see how it fits in with the company and your would-be coworkers, as well as the hiring manager.
- How well does this guy know himself? Before you get to the interview, look at the chief requirements for the job and match them up with your specific skills and experience. Then, prepare to answer behavioral interview questions, which try to get at more of the "how" behind your skills and experience. Let's say you have this on your resume: "Convinced management to agree to a deal with XYZ Company to buy $1 million in computer hardware." Be ready to answer a question on how you accomplished that.
- Can I trust this person to get the job done without a lot of supervision? Managers have enough on their plates to worry about their direct reports, so they like to hire people they can trust to get the job done, and done right. Convince them of that in the interview and you've gone a long way toward easing the hiring manager's pain.
Focusing on what the hiring manager is looking for is the best way to succeed in an interview. If you aim your job interview preparation at the hiring manager's needs and how you can meet them, you can shine in the interview and improve your chances at landing the job offer.
Have you and a hiring manager "clicked" in an interview that led to a job? If you're a hiring manager, what other questions do you have in your head that you want clear answers to once the interview is over? Tell us in a comment below.
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