Job Interview Preparation: What Hiring Managers Look for When They Interview


Please be prepared to address these characteristics with the Hiring Manager you will interview with- think of examples from your professional demeanor and work.

Non-verbal/ people skills  – Hiring authorities evaluate more than resumes, they often gauge how well you interact with other office staff, your body language, etc. DO not fidget or wiggle, tap or shake your knees, play with your hair, objects (pen) etc….). Be sure to sit still, lean forward, give him good eye contact and smile sincerely as you engage in answering the interview questions. Be sure to bring a pen and paper with you so that you’ll be prepared to take good notes, if necessary.

• Quick thinker on feet / sharp – Interviewers may throw out an occasional random question to test you. It is okay to say “hmmm…I don’t know…let me think about that for a moment” as long as you do it sincerely and with a smile, and then answer reasonably.

• Be Consistent- Don’t change your story half way into the interview, that will negatively impact your credibility- say what you need to say concisely and then stop talking. Most interviewers simply ask questions from YOUR resume. You wrote it, so be prepared to answer logical questions and to explain your career progression.

• Problem solver- How have you solved problems when cookie-cutter standard solutions did not apply?

• Analytical ability- Think of an example that will demonstrate your analytical nature without coming across as a know it all.

Teamwork VS. Individually – Assignment: be prepared to give examples of both. Hiring Managers do not want cheap talk and bragging, they desire looking for strong examples to support your statements on BOTH your individual and team contributions!

• Attitude and Potential – Most hiring managers like eagerness, drive and a positive willing-to-learn attitude- they seek candidates that can not only contribute immediately, but also have aptitude to grow as time progresses. Emphasize that you are trainable, have room for improvement, are motivated and eager to learn and it’s a plus if you are “mobile” at least in North America

• Get foot in the door – emphasize that you are looking for a good opportunity to build upon YOUR CURRENT SKILLS while gaining new ones for the future. Don’t fixate on the short term, really think about the long term and the “fit”.

• Honesty is the best policy – just be authentic, be YOU.

When given an office or plant tour please REMEMBER: 

It is absolutely possible for you to talk yourself out of being considered for a job –talking too much and/or exaggerating your facts and figures can really be a showstopper for Hiring Managers.

Keep up the pace when you are being given an office tour or plant tour. If the Hiring Manager is walking briskly, don’t lag behind.

Engage and appear interested! Ask questions and speak up. Be prepared for the Hiring Manager to stop abruptly and ask you how you might fix an issue in the facility~ or what issues you see (just in passing by) that you would address, and how you would go about improving the issue.

If you study and include these key concepts in your job interview preparation, you will position yourself uniquely (stand out) to the key decision makers.


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