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Interviewing With the Hiring Manager

Tags:  Interview Skills, Looking for work

If you have gotten past the initial human resources interview process and are now waiting to meet the hiring manager, congratulations! However, if you are shaking in your boots right now because the thought of meeting the hiring manager has you a bit unnerved, calm yourself. All you have to do is remember how you were able to sell your talents and abilities to the person in human resources and do the same with the hiring manager.

It's all about being prepared. And the best way to do that is to follow the Guideposts outlined below.

1.  Answer questions directly and succinctly; don't mumble or ramble on.

There is nothing worse than interviewing a candidate who rushes to answer an interview question before they have fully thought through what they have been asked and how it applies to their work experience and education. Before you jump off into a question, be sure you are clear about what has been asked. If needed, rephrase the question to ensure understanding. Next, take enough time to think through your response. Finally, get to the point. Say what you have to say, making sure you are understood completely.

2.  Relate past experience to job opportunity; use success stories.

One of the most important aspects of the interview process is to share examples of your experience and relate it to the current opportunity. By drawing a direct link to what you know and/or have done, you help the interviewer better understand how your skills and knowledge will fit with their current opening. Don't expect the interviewer to make the leap and connect the dots without your help. That is your responsibility.

3.  Interview hiring manager by asking questions about job and company.

Take advantage of your chance to interview the hiring manager by finding out everything you want to know about his team, department and way of working. Here are five questions you may want to consider asking:

  • What qualities do your most successful employees demonstrate?
  • What's the quickest way to get on your bad side?
  • Is there a formal training process and what would it involve?
  • Are there department as well as individual goals and what are they?
  • Why did the previous person leave this position?

4.  Ask for, deal with concerns; Ask About Next Steps; Thank Hiring Manager

Finally, never leave an interview without addressing your own or the hiring manager's concerns. Does he have any concerns about you or your ability to do the job? What information might you supply to help eliminate his concerns?

Naturally, you'll want to ask about the next steps in the process so that you have a sense of when you might expect to receive further word. If the hiring manager has a specific date in mind when he expects to make a decision, ask if it is okay for you to follow up the next day if you don't hear as expected. If the hiring manager is unsure about the exact day, ask if it would be all right to follow up the following week.

Remember that the interview process is not just about the hiring manager gathering information about your suitability for the job; it's about your understanding what you might be getting yourself into. Be sure you take the time to interview the hiring manager, too.

For more information on this topic, see the companion Skills in Action video!


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