What Makes Hiring Managers Think They've Found the One

This article was originally published here
July 9, 2014
By Aja Frost for BioSpace.com

Have you ever wondered what goes through hiring managers’ minds when they find the candidate they decide to hire? Well, if you’re currently looking for a job, it’s definitely something you should be thinking about. After all, you want employers to have that experience when they’re looking at your application. So here’s what makes them think, “We’ve found the one.”

1. This person cares about the company and the job.
Sounds basic, right? But let’s be real: Almost everyone has applied to at least one position they’re not super enthusiastic about, simply because they fit the requirements, the salary was right, they needed a job, any job—or all of the above.

To prove you care about and really want this position, make sure you highlight all the specific details you know about the company. For example, if the interviewer asks what you can bring to this position, respond with something like, “Your company only makes decisions when they’re backed by data. That makes me a great fit, because I’ve got a strong analytical background, and I believe in calculated decisions rather than gut instinct.”

You definitely couldn’t give that reply without knowing a lot about the organization and its values—which proves you care!

2. This person would fit in well with the team.
You don’t necessarily have to look like every existing employee. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t, because most management teams acknowledge that a diversity of backgrounds, talents, and opinions enable a company to come up with creative solutions.

However, you should seem like you could get along with the other employees. If the office is super laid-back, you probably don’t want to emphasize your micromanaging habits. If, on the other hand, there’s a lot of structure, then you don’t want to say you work best in a relaxed atmosphere. To figure out what kind of culture an office has, see if you can get in touch with any employees before the interview, or check out the core values the company has listed on its site.

3. This person would apply the right skills.
Before every part of the application process—the written portion, the phone interview, the in-office component—go back to the job description so you’ve got their requirements down cold. You should be continually be demonstrating how you can answer those needs.

Let’s say the listing asks for an “excellent collaborator” who “thrives in a fast-paced environment.” In your cover letter, you should reference a previous job in which you successfully worked on a team as well as a time when you were juggling multiple tasks at once or handling a high-volume work-load. Team-work and multi-tasking should also show up on your resume and during the interview. By proving you’ve got what it takes, rather than just telling hiring managers you’ve got what it takes, you’ll convince them they need you on the team.

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