To continue to move along in the recruiting process and eventually get the job you want, you need to address the main concerns of hiring managers. So, what follows are what hiring managers are most concerned with regarding your candidacy—along with how to address these concerns in your interviews and applications.
Concern #1: That you won’t be a self-starter and need a lot of handholding to deliver results.
Surprisingly, hiring managers are not as concerned with where you worked or went to school as they are with your ability to problem solve and work independently. Ideally, hiring managers want candidates who are self-starters—employees who don’t need much handholding and can take initiative to act on their own. This doesn’t mean you never ask for support; it just means you think for yourself and try to problem solve on your own before asking for additional help.
So, during your interviews and on your applications, you want to provide examples of this trait and embody a person who's a self-starter and takes initiative. Give examples of times when you’ve figured things out on your own and took initiative without having to ask for a manager’s help.
Concern #2: That you’ll be a short-term hire.
Often, hiring managers are concerned that you’re not interested in staying in the role they’re hiring your for and instead are just waiting for something else to come along. The way to reassure hiring managers that you’re not looking to make a quick move elsewhere is by explaining the reasons why you want this role—and all the ways you plan to add value.
For example, you might explain how this role is the perfect next step for your career. To do this, you might discuss your recent work experience and how you plan to build on this experience in the new role. You might also pass along how you’ll be able to use the skills you've learned in the past to add value in this role while building new skills. And you might pass along how you value security and see yourself growing in this role for many years to come, pointing to all the growth opportunities you see that the role can offer you.
Concern #3: That you’ll be difficult to work with.
Hiring managers use interviews, in part, to gauge if you might be difficult to work with. For example, in an interview, if you interrupt a hiring manager or voice strong opinions about ways of doing things they might not agree with, that could be a red flag—and lead them to think that you’d be a difficult colleague.
So, to ensure hiring managers that you aren’t difficult to work with, you need to emphasize your collaborative nature and show them how you work well with others. Note that it’s not enough to just say you’re a team player, you need to provide examples of that and prove it.
For example, to demonstrate your collaborative approach to work, you might tell a story about a time you worked on a team and engaged all your team members’ opinions, then took action with the information you gathered from the team and how that action proved to be successful.
Concern #4: That you won’t be reliable and people won’t be able to count on you.
When you speak with someone for the first time, it’s normal for that other person to hesitate to trust you right away. The same goes when you’re interviewing with someone for the first time. So, to combat this natural mistrust, you want to provide examples from your work experience where you’ve been reliable and loyal. You want to share details that will help hiring managers trust you.
For example, if you’ve won any awards that show you’re someone who sticks to something and able to stay with something until you achieve a goal, that would be great to share. Maybe you won an award for attendance at a job. Maybe your colleagues always refer to you as the early bird. Maybe you’re always the one who volunteers to pick up the slack for others on leave or vacation, or to take on duties when someone resigns.
Anything that highlights your willingness to stick around, stay late, take on extra work, or go the extra mile is great to share—and will go a long way toward helping you advance to the next stage of the interview process.
Natalie Fisher is best known for helping professionals land their ideal roles and achieve explosive salary growth (even with little experience). If you want to dive deeper on the topic of your career mindset and know exactly how to land your dream job offer, listen to her coach you on her Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast.
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