Some job seekers think a top-notch resume is everything they need to seal the deal on a new career opportunity. It’s definitely part of the process, serving as your go to tool to help get your foot in the door at a company and hopefully land an interview with a hiring manager. But, once you land the interview, the real pressure begins. An interview usually means that you’re a top candidate for a job but are still in competition with a few other equally qualified individuals.
So, how do you become the standout applicant who gets the offer? Here are a few top tips on what hiring managers are looking for and how to communicate with them to increase your chances for success.
1. Be professional.
From your very first email or phone call with a hiring manager to the end of your interview process, you are being observed for your professionalism. In all communication, respond in a timely manner, check your spelling on emails, and keep your tone kind and business focused rather than personal. Once you have been asked to come in for an interview, brush up beforehand on your business etiquette tips and ways to dress to impress. Remember to arrive 10 minutes early with extra copies of your resume and a notepad in hand. Your goal should be to make a great first impression and then continue impressing those you meet.
2. Be genuine and show your personality.
Hiring managers are going to work with you if you get the job and are also going to be held responsible for hiring you, too. So they want to make sure you’re a good fit for the company’s culture and the team you’d be working with. Being in competition with other applicants who are also trying to make a great impression, you need to show the hiring manager why you’re the best fit. Connect with their personality during the interview and the odds will be more in your favor.
3. Know your motivations.
A hiring manager is curious about your motivations. Why are you looking for a new job? Why are you applying for this job? Why do you want to work for this company? What are your biggest career motivators? Be ready to speak to these questions honestly, positively, and professionally. A hiring manager will also check to make sure what you say matches up with the research they’ve done on you and what your references say about you.
4. Do your homework.
The interviewer wants to test your knowledge about the company and the job you’re interested in. You should be prepared to talk about what they do, know how long the company has been in business, if there are multiple locations, and what types of programs they offer. You’ll also want to be ready to explain how your skills fit the position and duties of the job. Do your homework in advance and know why you’re the best candidate for the company.
5. Follow-up after your interview.
If you really want the job you applied for, don’t forget to send a thank you to the hiring manager. They took time out of their day to meet with you, so the least you can do is thank them. Although it’s great to write a thank you and mail it, that takes a little time. A nice email sent a few hours after your interview will accomplish the same objective of letting them know you appreciate the time they took to interview you.
Share some key points you learned about the position and the organization, re-emphasize why your abilities are a great fit, and communicate your excitement about potentially joining the team. Hiring managers are waiting for this information to see if you’re seriously interested.
Hiring managers want what’s best for their company so keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well prepared to ace the interview.