Last week we talked about interviewing with human resources for a potential career opportunity. The HR Department can provide key insights into the company culture and are a critical piece in getting hired with a firm. Most companies will also have a potential recruit meet directly with the department hiring manager in addition to HR. These interviews should be treated differently.
Four Tips for Interviewing With Hiring Managers
1. Hiring Is Their Priority: Human resources interviews from a very different perspective than hiring managers do. Since human resources puts emphasis on compliance, they often seek to eliminate any potential job candidates that could be perceived as a potential risk to the company. However, hiring managers are interested in the best candidate for their opening and thus, often prioritize experience on the job and hard skills. Remember, the hiring manager has goals and objectives to meet in order to maintain company profitability-the closer the match the candidate to the job description the better. If you are missing key elements of a job description, be prepared to discuss how you would gain skills and/or knowledge to fill the gap quickly.
2. First Impressions Matter: Interviewing with hiring managers presents potential job candidates with an opportunity to meet with the people they will be working with. While human resources may screen potential job candidates for interviews or run background checks, hiring managers are who will work alongside or manage the new hire. View the interview as a chance to audition for the company and the specific job role. The focus here is on personality match and chemistry. Try to learn as much about the hiring manager as possible. Questions about the hiring manager’s career with the company, why they love to work at the company and their opinion on company culture are good open ended starters to establish rapport and easy conversation.
3. They Understand the Job: A hiring manager will understand the job function and duties because they are responsible for designing a position description for human resources. Be sure to arrive to the interview prepared to ask relevant questions to the position and job duties to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager. This is the interview to inquire about work related routines, priorities on the job, workflow and departmental personalities.
4. Discuss Your Skills: During the hiring process the hiring manager is forwarded resumes usually prescreened by human resources. A human resources prescreen might address your basic qualifications and education, but hiring managers are interested in your relevant skills and ability to do all necessary functions of a job. Be prepared to deep dive as to your knowledge in particular areas of the role. This may be the time to discuss a project or accomplishment in fine detail if it is relevant to the current situation.
What is your experience interview with human resources or hiring managers?
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