If you are in a job search and aren't receiving viable hits, it's time to walk a mile in an employer's shoes. Okay, I realize what you may be thinking. For just one day, you would like an employer to walk in your shoes so they can be sympathetic to the stresses you are going through on a daily basis. That makes sense, since what most of us want is to be understood by others.
However, when I suggest you take the time to put yourself in the position of an employer, that isn't meant to minimize the realities and responsibilities of your world. Your responsibilities sit across from you at the dinner table every night and they miraculously appear in your mailbox every month.
On the other hand, just as you would like to be understood, so do employers. And though you don't have control over an interviewer, you have full control over what you decide to do during your job search.
A bad hire costs a company a lot of money, and they have their own concerns. A fundamental way to get ahead in the job search is to understand an employer's perspective because their point of view is their truth, and their truth dictates how they will react. It will serve you well to understand what a bad hire costs a company.
Three Biggest Concerns of the Hiring Manager
1. We all have been there, working in a department where there is an unproductive employee who insists on making waves; someone who has their own agenda and refuses to play by the rules. Perhaps you are searching for a job right now because of unbearable circumstances in your workplace. This is precisely what hiring managers are afraid of: losing good workers because of the actions of a bad employee. That cost is immeasurable.
2. A hiring manager puts his or her reputation on the line when choosing to endorse a candidate. And that is exactly what a hiring manager is doing when submitting a name for consideration. If they make a bad hiring decision, their ability to make sound decisions is questioned.
3. An employee is a representative of a company and a bad hire can have an adverse effect on relationships with vendors and/or customers. Employers fear the loss of valuable relationships that can result from the actions of an employee. Therefore, employers want to scrutinize the personality of candidates before an offer is extended.
Ways to Alleviate a Hiring Manager's Concern BEFORE the Interview
Research the hiring organization. I know. I know. You have read this before. This isn't new information. But it is worth repeating because chances are that you have gone on interview after interview without conducting research. Do your homework on the hiring organization and on industry trends. This is the number one way to uncover a hiring organization's concerns.
Don't underestimate the power of your resume. Your resume can address employers' hidden concerns with ease, by speaking to your ability to deliver results, work in a team environment, and lead others to achieve organizational goals. The resume you submit to employers is one of the most powerful tools you have full control over. Create the best presentation you can.
Be positive. Negativity is a deal killer. Let go of all that has gone wrong in your job search. Attend each interview feeling confident about your qualifications and what you can bring to the table.
Ways to Alleviate a Hiring Manager's Concern DURING the Interview
Meet concerns head on. Find out exactly what an employer is looking for by simply asking one question during the interview. "Thinking back to the last person who held this position, what were his or her strengths, and what areas needed improvement?" Then listen to what the interviewer says and connect your responses to the employer's needs.
Don't act like a politician. One of the major complaints we have when it comes to politicians is that they never answer the question posed by the reporter, but rather they provide an answer that makes the point they want to bring forward. And this exact quality is what most job seekers do in an interview. Take the time to answer the questions the interviewer poses. If you aren't forthcoming, the interviewer is likely to conclude you are attempting to hide something.
Demonstrate interest. If you want to continue participating in the interview process, ask the interviewer the following: "Ms. Rodriguez, I am sincerely interested in the position and would like to participate in the next round of interviews. What is the next step?"
Ways to Alleviate a Hiring Manager's Concern AFTER the Interview
Send a thank-you note. Send a thank-you note to every person with whom you interviewed and reconfirm your interest in working for the company. If there was a topic of concern that you feel needs further discussion, briefly tackle the topic in your missive.
Follow up with a phone call. During the interview, ask the interviewer if you can follow up in two weeks. Then make sure you do!