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What Are Hiring Managers Looking for In Job Candidates?

by Edvard Berlusconi

The job search process is a two-way street. Candidates are typically looking to work for a company where they can grow in their career, make contributions, work for a company that aligns with their values, be fairly compensated and are recognized for strong performance. Although there are certainly other factors that come into play, in a nutshell, that’s what most individuals seek out. Having said that, candidates must wow the hiring manager so they can land a job they are excited about.

Do You Meet Job Requirements?

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Conducting a job search can be a time consuming and challenging process. Applying for positions that you are not qualified for can potentially impact your confidence level. If you apply for job after job without any positive results, it can be discouraging. Ensuring you seek out opportunities where you meet a majority of the qualifications is essential. Typically, the most important requirements are listed at the top. If you meet the ones listed at the top and about 80% of the qualifications overall then you should apply for the position.

Following instructions is important. It helps the hiring manager gage your ability to listen and deliver on what you are being asked. If the company requires a cover letter, include a thoughtful cover letter highlighting your accomplishments that relate to the role. Convey your enthusiasm for the opportunity. If they request your salary requirements, do your research and come up with a reasonably broad range for consideration.

Are you Prepared for the Interview?

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There are a number of elements critical to preparing for an interview. First and foremost, have you thoroughly read the job description? Mervat Elschwarby, the President of NYC Resume, Interview & Online Prep states “The information provided in the job description is invaluable in preparing for your job interview. Focus on the skills and experience emphasized within the job description and give examples that show where you demonstrated those skills. It’s essentially your answer key.” Click to visit the NYC Resume, Interview & Online Prep website.

There are various important factors to prepare. More companies are shifting to phone and Skype interviews for their initial screening. Although there are advantages to phone interviews like the ability to refer to your notes and have some of your responses written down, they can be quite challenging. You don’t have the benefit of communicating through body language. Tone is extremely important. You have to make a concerted effort to show your enthusiasm and be engaging by phone. Skype involves additional preparation from a technology perspective, ensuring the environment is just right and keeping your energy level raised among other factors.

Do You Know Why You Want the Job?

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Have you thoroughly researched the company? Aside from reviewing the financials, there’s important information that you can gather related to most companies. You can learn a lot about the company’s direction, vision, culture and outlook by looking at their press releases, various publications, social media and taking a look at LinkedIn profiles of some of the individuals you are scheduled to interview with.

Asking insightful questions that demonstrate you researched the company is a great way to show them you want the job. Thinking about a recent development that the company is particularly proud of; you may want to pose a question that discusses that. If you only ask questions that pertain to you and your career, it sends the wrong message. You want to balance questions that focus on you with that of the company. The job search process is a two-way street that you should be mindful of every step of the way.

How Will You Contribute to the Company’s Success?

Beyond the fact that you have the requirements to perform the role, the company wants to know that you will contribute to the company’s success. Providing examples of when you were proactive and delivered strong results will help put you ahead of the competition. Whatever you can quantify in terms of performance is key.

What Skills Are Critical?

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Technical and on the job skills vary from position to position. There are some core competencies that many hiring managers seek when sourcing candidates. Written communications can be demonstrated through your cover letter and resume. Do you have strong verbal communication skills? Are you able to persuade others to support your position? Taking a thoughtful approach to problem-solving goes a long way.

Companies want to hire candidates that can solve problems and utilize the people around them as resources. Seeking out your manager is necessary at times but your boss will likely not welcome a lot of handholding. With globalization and a heightened level of competition that companies have to contend with, innovation and collaboration are also something that is highly sought out in candidates. They want to know that individuals will work together to identify creative solutions and to develop new ways to drive efficiencies and improve products and services.

How Do You Outshine the Competition?

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A strong elevator pitch sets the tone for the entire interview. That famous tell me about yourself question that many interviewers ask can stump many candidates. A hiring manager typically determines early on if you are a good fit. A limited number of companies do offer mock interview preparation sessions.

They are extremely beneficial in helping you frame your answers, nail your elevator pitch, and stay focused on what’s relevant to the job. It’s also a great way to practice interviewing in a safe environment. Sessions are typically offered through Skype so it’s very convenient. That serves as an advantage to help you outshine the competition.

Proper preparation and a proactive approach are essential to a successful job search and interview. Taking the time to really understand the company and how you can make valuable contributions is a worthwhile exercise. You are responsible for showcasing your skills and wowing the hiring manager. Professionally coaching can go a long way in understanding what hiring managers are looking for and demonstrating that you are a viable job candidate worthy of serious consideration.

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