Interview Tips for Talking to Hiring Managers

Meeting The Department Manager

Last week we talked about interviewing with human resources for a potential career opportunity. The HR Department can provide critical insights into the company culture and are an integral piece of getting hired with a firm. The next step is to have a potential recruit meet directly with the department hiring manager in addition to HR. Treat these interviews 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 emphasize compliance, they often seek to eliminate any potential job candidates that are 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 to maintain company profitability-the closer the match the candidate to the job description, the better. If you are missing vital elements of a job description, be prepared to discuss how you would gain skills or knowledge to fill the gap quickly.

2. First Impressions Matter: While human resources may screen potential job candidates for positions 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 relaxed 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 at the interview prepared to ask relevant questions to the position and job duties to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager. In this meeting, inquire about work-related routines, priorities on the job, workflow, and departmental personalities.

4. Discuss Your Skills: During the hiring process, the hiring manager reviews resumes usually prescreened by human resources. A prescreen by human resources might address your basic qualifications and education, but hiring managers are interested in your ability to do all the necessary functions of a job. Be prepared to deep dive into your knowledge in particular areas of the role or 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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