Let’s face it, job interviews are not enjoyable experiences. During the interview process, you’ll likely find yourself a nervous wreck as you stare into a stone-faced interviewer asking you behavioral questions. Just the thought of detailing your biggest weakness to another VP is enough to force a job hunter into a ball of anxiety.
Luckily, we have the inside scoop into what your poker-faced interviewer is thinking, and what you need to prove to them to land the job that you are gunning for. Companies usually look for a candidate with an immense technical knowledge that will fit in with their business culture. Unfortunately, hiring managers like to beat around the bush instead of asking these questions directly.
So while you’re interviewing in a market such as New York that has seen a 14% wage growth in five years leading to 2014, be sure to address these five core concerns that every hiring manager is thinking about.
Do you understand this role?
It’s important for a hiring manager to know that as an interviewee, you know exactly what a job entails. The last thing a manager wants is an employee that is in over his head and can’t perform or an employee that is bored with his work and looking to move on too quickly.
Be sure to thoroughly read a job description to ensure you are a good fit for your prospective role before you apply. You can also look for employees in similar positions at the company you are applying for on social networks like Linkedin and read their job descriptions to gain insight into the role.
No hiring manager will ask you directly if you understand the role that you’re applying for. However, you can imply that you have a deep understanding by weaving in past accomplishments and experiences that into your answers that pertain to the position. If you’re applying for a job that calls for you to spend an extensive amount of time engaging users through social media, mention your extensive knowledge and passion for social media.
You can also ask technical questions related to the software a company uses, metrics they report on, and even common resources a company uses to accomplish their goals to show that you have a deep understanding of the role.
Have you (successfully) done this job before
The best indicator of future performance is past performance. So as a hiring manager, I need to know that you’ve performed at a high level in a similar if not the same role in the past.
Showcase your skills by having detailed stories about your technical accomplishments. If you’re going after a job in web development, weave in a story about the time you found and fixed a bug that no one else could figure out. If you’re trying to land a content marketing job, discuss the blog strategy that you implemented for your last client that netted them 1,000 blog subscribers in three months.
Remember, don’t just talk about results. You must tell them what you accomplished and HOW you accomplished this.
Are you confident in your skills
Please read this as CONFIDENT, not arrogant. Everyone wants to hire the person that has made things happen before and knows without a doubt that they can do it again.
The chances that anyone will ever ask you if you are confident that you can do a job are slim. So you may not get the opportunity to speak verbally on your confidence at any point in an interview. You can, however, begin to show a bit of “swag” as soon as you walk in the door.
Confidence is all about body language and mannerisms. When you meet people, especially the receptionist, great them with a bright smile and a strong handshake. Answer questions with conviction and back up your claims with real world experiences. Also, don’t be afraid to think before you answer, this doesn’t show a lack of confidence or knowledge, it shows a heightened level of thoughtfulness and maturity.
Will you fit well with the team
Once you prove that you are a technical superstar, it’s time to show that you’ll fit well with their team. It’s tough to know before you go into interview what a team will be like and if you’re truly going to fit well with that team. However, a hiring manager always looks for someone that is personable, has impeccable communication skills both verbally and nonverbally, and is passionate about what their doing.
Passion is something that is hard to fake and easy for a hiring manager to spot. The clearest indicator of a passionate interviewee is the level of excitement they express when discussing the job opportunity and the position in itself.
Your passion is also on display when you talk about things you do in your spare time. If you author a blog about content marketing and regularly attend the content marketing Meetups on Tuesday nights, you should mention that in your Content Marketing Manager interview. It shows a deep passion for content that goes well beyond the regular 9 – 5.
Show off your personality by being relaxed and conversational during your interview. Weaving in stories about how you worked with teams of a similar makeup to your prospective team will also help you show that you’re flexible enough to work with any team. You should remember that there is no right answer here. You should be seeking to find out if the company is a good fit for you just as much as they are looking to see if you are a good fit for them. So relax and be yourself!
Are you excited to work here
Excitement can not only show your passion for the role that you are applying for, but also the company that you are applying to. Demonstrate that you aren’t just looking for any job in your field by expressing to the hiring manager how much you want THIS job.
Researching the past performance and awards of your prospective employer will help you demonstrate why you want to work for a particular company. Mentioning a conversation you had with a current or former employee of a company can also go a long way in showcasing how excited you are to work at a company.
Addressing all of these concerns over the course of a 30-minute interview can seem daunting. But remember that your answers and stories will tackle multiple concerns that an interviewer may have. So before your next interview, think about how you can best answer these five questions that I’ve listed above. Even if your interviewer has on his poker face, you’ll know you answered the questions they are really asking.