For you, the only thing you want is to get a job. For the hiring manager, making the hire is a priority competing with many others at the same time. So what is going on in the hiring manager’s mind? Most hiring managers take no pleasure in the hiring process. It’s just one more thing they have to take care of, and they often feel insecure in making that final decision, since some of their previous hires proved disappointing.
A hiring manager also knows that making a hiring mistake could potentially ruin his reputation and credibility. While reviewing resumes he is asking himself three questions: Why should he interview you? What can you do for him? And if hired, would you be effective in filling the job duties?
Now, provided that you get invited for an interview, the hiring manager has three more qualifying questions to answer before deciding to hire you: (1) Are you particularly good at what he needs done? He is not hiring just average people. This is your opportunity to recite your accomplishments eloquently and succinctly. Do not repeat what you said in the past. Highlight only your accomplishments and the results. (2) Do you fit into his organization? This is the primary area in which you have to be convincing. You may have all the qualifications, but if the hiring manager cannot see you as part of his organization, then nothing will help you. (3) Are you committed? The hiring manager sees in you an investment—hopefully, a long-term investment. And he wants to make sure it’s a good one. He also wants to make sure you are promotable and have the potential to grow within the organization.
As you can see, the hiring process is complex for both the hiring manager and the candidate. Both sides will share in the potential rewards as well as the associated risks. The question for the candidate remains: how to increase chances of getting hired by outshining the competition? The theoretical answer is to network to the max, because statistics have proved that 60 to 80% of people found their jobs via networking. The practical answer is to mock-practice your interviewing skills. You can do that with friends or your spouse or—best of all—with a qualified career coach. The reason that interviewing skills are vital to acquire is simply that hiring managers make their decisions based on how well you interview and not on your job skills.
Alex Freund is the founder of Landing Expert–Career Coaching. His Web site includes a current and comprehensive list of job search networking groups in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and the city of New York, and the site is visited by thousands of people every month. Landing Expert is a premier career-coaching service with the objective of preparing job seekers for interviews. Alex’s clients are gaining knowledge, receiving marketing material, and acquiring the know-how to beat the competition.
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