Top Five Ways to Impress the Hiring Manager
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Have you ever wonder why you didn’t get a job especially when you seem to be a perfect fit? At least on paper? Or even when the interviews seem to go well? Unless you are a rock star candidate that everyone is vying for, chances are, at one time or another, we have had these thoughts.
Hiring managers say that in most cases, they are the last stop before an offer is given. This means that candidates who get to this point have already shown they have the skillsets necessary for the job and are liked by the core team who have interviewed them.
So, what happened? We spoke to a group of hiring managers to get some insights on what tips one candidate over to the top versus another and we are here to share them with you. Here are the top five:
1. Know why the company is hiring this position.
Is the company hiring for a replacement? To expand the group? To add new skillsets? Knowing this will enable candidates to tailor their answers when asked by hiring managers what they can offer. Hiring managers say that when candidates start talking about aspirations that exceed the role, it is a red flag. It shows the role may not be “big” enough for the candidate. On the flip side, if the candidate mentions nothing about his overseas experience when the hiring manager is looking for expansion expertise in this area, the candidate has lost a great opportunity to shine.
2. Research the company’s competitors.
Almost every candidate who gets to a final round has most likely done research on the company. However, to separate yourself from the pack, research the company’s competitors. Understand how and where the company is positioned amongst its competition to better understand its strengths and weaknesses. Impress the hiring manager with your knowledge and views of the industry and show that you can see beyond just your desk.
3. Make a personal connection with the hiring manager.
Whether we like it or not, we tend to gravitate towards those that are more like us than not. So find out if the hiring manager is into the soccer or knows someone you may know. A lot of this type of information can be found by doing a simple search through social media and other professional networking platforms. If there is some commonality, bring it up at the interview. It helps to establish a rapport with the hiring manager and can turn a normal, dry interview session into one that highlights your interests and personality to the hiring manager.
4. Talk to a customer.
Most companies have a customer page on their website. Check this out and see if you can talk to a few who are customers of the products the company makes. This will provide you valuable information into what’s so great (or not so great) about the products and why these customers chose them over the competition.
5. Conduct an informational interview.
Do an informational interview to understand the culture and environment of the company. Often times with candidates possessing the same qualifications, it all comes down to fit. See if you can get an informational interview with a current or recently departed employee. Find out the good and the pains of working at the company. This not only allows you to make a more informed decision as to whether the company is a good fit for you and your lifestyle, it will also help you to dress and phrase your questions and answers accordingly so that you come across as someone who fits in rather than someone facing culture shock.