When you’re trying to find a job, it’s easy to think of the hiring manager as the villain. Or the dragon you have to get past to get a job. But to increase your chances of getting hired, try to understand the hiring process from a hiring manager’s point of view. Some points to ponder:
1. Hiring managers are human beings too
When you go looking for a job, you’re preoccupied, of course, with your own needs and priorities. Well, a hiring manager is interested, first and foremost, in protecting and promoting her own career. And she’s not going to willingly make a decision or take an action that might jeopardize it.
Your goal is to help them feel secure about hiring you. Managers want employees who are competent in terms of knowledge and skills, yes—but who can also be managed easily. A hiring decision for a manager is about feeling safe, in terms of protecting her department, her goals and her team.
2. Hiring is a risk assessment exercise
Managers know that nobody is perfect. Everyone has shortcomings, weaknesses, faults, biases and prejudices. And everyone has a downside. There’s a lot of truth to the old cliche that people hire who they know. Why? It’s easier to hire somebody you know because it’s easier to assess their downside.
In formal interviews, many questions are designed to uncover weaknesses and shortcomings: What is your greatest weakness? Describe a situation in which you were unsuccessful achieving a goal, and how did you respond? How would you rate your ability to resolve conflict on a scale of 1 to 10, from low to high, then give me an example?
3. Hiring is about pain relief
Consider the priorities of a hiring manager. Managers are responsible for achieving the goals and objectives of their organization. If it were easy to attain those goals, they could do all the work themselves and wouldn’t need employees!
But, of course, various problems, challenges, issues and pressures get in the way of corporate goals and objectives. To a sales professional, these things are known as “pain points.”
Salespeople need to understand their prospects’ pain points in order to make that pain go away. In a job search, you’re selling yourself as the product or service for the hiring manager’s pain relief.
Your job in an interview is to uncover that agenda. Listen for clues to the hiring manager’s pain points. Respond not with the features of your value proposition (i.e. your education, experience, personal traits) but with benefits (i.e. how you can help them with their pain points).
Establish rapport with a manager by focusing on their needs and priorities. Flush out concerns. What challenges, issues, problems, pressure points are driving this hiring decision? Reduce risk. Find out what red flags the manager may have about hiring somebody they don’t know. Make it easy for them to hire you!
For more great interview tips, contact Clark Personnel today!