Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside the mind of a hiring manager? Knowing what they’re thinking about could help you secure the job.
Here are some hints and tips on what they might be thinking, to help maximize your chances during each stage of the hiring process.
What are hiring managers thinking during the resume screening process?
Hiring managers face tens, if not hundreds of resumes for each job role. The reality is that screening these may seem overwhelming. The other point to consider is that hiring managers often don’t just do hiring. They are usually also line managers dealing with the day to day operational demands of a team. They are busy people, and they are thinking, “I’m really busy. How can I get through this as quickly and efficiently as possible?” It should come as no surprise then, to find out that research has shown that your resume will be looked at for an average of just six seconds during this screening phase. That’s not long to stand out from the crowd.
However, there are simple ways to make sure that you do exactly that. In that initial screen, hiring managers are looking for specific words and phrases that they listed in the job advertisement or person specification. If they ask for someone with budgeting experience, they need to see budgeting experience in this initial screen, or the sad fact is that your resume will end up in the trash. To overcome this, make sure the skills the hiring manager is looking for are obvious and stand out in your resume.
One important point to mention here: you must tailor your resume towards the remote job you are applying for. Time after time, candidates send out the same old resume to hundreds of remote jobs, hoping it will catch the eye of a hiring manager. It won’t.
Hiring managers look at hundreds of resumes at a time, and they can easily spot non-tailored resumes. You’re wasting time and paper by doing this. And there’s no quicker way to ensure that your resume will get binned!
What are hiring managers thinking during the interviewing process?
If you’re invited for an interview, then this is your chance to shine. The hiring manager wants you to. At this point, they’re thinking, “I hope this person is right, so I can get back to my work, which is building up while I’m interviewing.” They want you to be right, and if you can tell them the right things convincingly, then you can be.
Telling them the right things means providing evidence. If you say, “I’m a great communicator!” because the job ad said they were looking for “great communication skills” this won’t get you very far. If you leave it at that, this is likely to make the hiring manager think, “Well you aren’t really a great communicator are you, I mean I wouldn’t call that great communication.” If you instead back this point up with evidence of various times that demonstrate your great communication skills, the hiring manager is more likely to be convinced. It’s all about the evidence from your career history and other experiences.
Unfortunately, if you get asked questions that don’t lend themselves to great answers, the onus is still on you to provide outstanding answers to compete with the other candidates. Having lots of great examples of how you are a good fit, based on your experience is the best way to deal with this.
What are hiring managers thinking during the final evaluation process?
If you showed you have the skills and experience during the interview, the chances are you’ll make the final evaluation process. What are hiring managers thinking at this point? Mostly they will be considering who will best fit into the team. They will be thinking, “Will this person get along with the other team members? Will they be a good fit in this business culture?” They will also think, “Did this person really want the job?”
On the latter, sending a thank you note expressing your ongoing interest to the hiring manager is critical. You’ll get past the other questions by making sure you present a friendly and pleasant image in the interview. Smiling, holding eye contact and using body language that shows engagement is essential to this.
Finally, if you don’t hear right away, don’t give up hope. Again, hiring managers are busy people and may get distracted with the operational demands of their job. If you don’t hear back within a couple of weeks, you might enquire if a decision has been made. If it hasn’t, this is another check in the box for you, as it provides further evidence of your interest.
About the Author
Paula Newton is a career coach and resume expert who benefits from more than 10 years experience in hiring management roles. She has worked for both UK-based firms, and an American company operating out of Quito, Ecuador.
No stranger to remote working, she has lived and worked on four continents and runs her own business remotely from many countries in Latin America and Asia, as well as from the United Kingdom.