Interviewing? Hear What Employers are Really Thinking

Dr. Charles Xavier must be really good at getting hired for employment, since he can read minds and everything. (That would be Professor X, from the X-Men comics, if you don’t recognize the name.)

He probably wouldn’t benefit from this latest advice from staffing service OfficeTeam. But, you might want to read further (unless you can also read minds, which I kind of doubt) about the five things that every job seeker should know about the interview from the employer’s point of view.

Coming to an interview prepared, having researched the company and being armed with a list of questions about the organization can be a big help. However, potential employees should also know these few things that employers aren’t saying out loud.

First, not all employers come as prepared to an interview as the interviewee. You should have a copy of your resume on hand in case the hiring manager doesn’t remember anything about you (especially if the person seems lost for questions to ask).

Another important thing to remember is that inauthentic responses to questions are a red flag. Take a cue from “The Office’s” Michael Scott: When asked his greatest strengths in an interview, he responds, “Why don’t I tell you what my greatest weaknesses are? I work too hard, I care too much and sometimes I can be too invested in my job.” The manager doesn’t even understand his response, as he asked for Scott’s greatest strengths. Scott had to explain that his greatest weaknesses are also his strengths. Funny, but not effective.

The interviewer also wants the chance to talk about themselves and the company. Remember that list of questions you’re armed with? Make sure to ask about the company, but also about the person hiring you and their experience with professional development and advancement within the company. Not only will you learn more about the organization, but it’ll help you get the conversation going.

Sometimes, interviewers will try to make you uncomfortable. They do this to see how you’ll handle pressure and because they know by allowing you to ramble on you’re bound to reveal more about who you are as a person. It’s also becoming a common practice to ask off-the-wall questions to see how you’ll react and evaluate your thought process. Keep your responses concise and to the point of the question; don’t feel the need to fill every empty pause and silence.

It’s also important to remember that the first person you’re likely to see upon arrival is the receptionist or an assistant. Be respectful of the person – more than likely the employer is planning to ask that person about your interaction. That person will potentially be your co-worker, so they’ll be honest of what they thought of you in their response to the manager.

Now you have a bit of insight into what hiring managers are thinking (and you don’t even have to read their minds). Keep these in mind next time you’re in the hot seat.