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Ace that Interview: Think Like the Hiring Manager

By Kelly Gregorio

Going on an interview is nothing short of nerve-racking. From sweaty palms to knots in your stomach, its easy to let the fear of being in the hot seat consume you.

If only there was a way in which you could nix those nerves and as a result blow a hiring manager away…

The truth is, stepping outside of your shoes and widening your perspective can do wonders for your next interview. Instead of focusing on the things you’re thinking and feeling, why not think like a hiring manager? Better yet, why not interview like one?

What Is the Hiring Manager Thinking?

Hiring managers, and other interviewers, are not usually excited about conducting job interviews. Interviews come under the heading of "other duties as required" and are a necessary part of keeping operations moving smoothly.

However, interviewing you is not usually the highlight of their day. Unfortunately, more often, interviewing a job seeker is an unwelcome interruption.

Below is what they may be thinking when you walk into the interview. Consider how you can change those thoughts and win that job.

I don't feel a connection.

Hiring managers not only interview for qualifications, but they interview for the right personality fit as well. Fitting into a company’s culture has grown increasingly important. No matter how great your skills are, if you don’t strive to point out your connection to the company you may not be extended a job offer.

Research will be your guide as to how the company conducts business, how it is perceived by the public and what direction it’s aiming to go. Don’t wait for your interviewer to comment on these types of things, instead offer up your excitement to work in an environment that upholds the ideals of X, Y and Z.


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I'm bored.

The adrenalin of an interview may have your pulse pounding and head spinning, but it’s unlikely to be the same type of experience for a hiring manager. After the same routine process of asking the same routing questions the experience can seem nothing short of vanilla.

Spice things up by bringing your own unique and thought-proving questions to the table. At the end of your interview when you’re given the opportunity to ask any questions, pounce with both personality and poise!

  • What changes do you hope the next person to take on this position will bring?
  • What do you think is the key personality trait to do this job well?

Questions like these not only showcase your dedication to doing this job (and doing it well), but they will get a conversation going with some natural back and forth. Afford your interviewer the opportunity to let their guard down and see you as a unique individual that hopefully later, will stick out in his/her mind.

I’m not impressed.

Don’t go into an interview, fold your hands, and politely wait for the experience to be over. Yes, it’s a hiring manager’s job to run the interview, but it’s your job to blow him/her away. Take charge, and work the experience so that the time not only flies by, but so that the hiring manager doesn’t want it to end.

How can you do this? Make a little extra effort. Chances are there is a specific reason for applying to each job you interview for; you either have the skills, the passion, or both.

Show your personal connection off by coming in with a proactive plan as to how you’ll make the position sing. Detail suggested areas of improvement (carefully - don't tell the interviewer that they are dumb), back them up with industry news and trends, and showcase the effort you’ve already made for a job that is still up for grabs.

What other ways can you think like a hiring manager?

More About Job Interviews


About the author...

Kelly Gregorio writes about career trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances.


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Guide to Successful Interviews

Essential Job Interviewing Requirements:

Job Interview Tips:


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Succeeding at Different Kinds of Job Interviews:

Preparation for Successful Interviews:

More Information About Interviews:


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