7 Secrets Hiring Managers Never Tell You

There are some things hiring managers prefer to keep secret because if everyone knew, job hunting would be too easy! This article shares their secrets.

Just like any profession hiring managers have tricks and secrets. Most people don't know them, and the majority of hiring managers 'keep the faith' as it were. But, some don't care about industry protocol and are willing to let us know the tricks of the trade.

Recruiting has more to do with psychology and being able to assess individuals effectively in a matter of seconds. This type of knowledge helps employers make better hiring decisions and determining the best fit for the position. But of course, this comes from gaining enough experience in the field and spending some time interviewing people.   

To help you out with your job hunt and prepare you to meet skilled hiring managers, this article presents some of the best kept secrets that you need to know.

1. ‘We Know All About You Before You Walk the Door’

man entering the building

Recruiters know more about you than you think. You already sent them your resume, what do you think they are doing with that information if not searching for you on social media? The only thing they need to know is your name. As social recruiting has become so popular now, hiring managers are more likely to check your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to decide whether you are a good fit for the position.  

What you need to do:

Now, this can be either bad or good for you, depending on what you are posting on your social media profiles. If you don’t want recruiters to know where your favourite place to party is, I suggest that you take down your drunken photos. Before you start your job search make sure to delete any content that may look offensive to employers.

2. ‘We Won’t Hire You if We Don’t Like the Way You Look’

man choosing a tie

Appearance is everything – especially when looking for a job, which means if you show up to the interview with cut-out jeans and a trendy, you are not getting the job. When invited in for an interview, it only makes sense that you want to be dressed nicely to make a good impression. If you don’t pay attention to your attire, however, you are essentially excluding yourself from the competition.   

What you need to do:

What you can do instead, is put on your formal attire – just to be on the safe side. If it helps, you can also do some research on your potential employer’s dress code to find out what they consider as an acceptable outfit. Ask someone you know who works there to tell you what they usually wear at work, check on the company website for more information or contact people working at the company on LinkedIn.

3. ‘We Don’t Hire Candidates Who Don’t Know What We Are Doing’

girl in job interview

Hiring managers hate candidates who know nothing about the company they want to work for. But, they still come across a huge number of jobseekers that are clueless about what the company does. While it’s impossible to know everything there is to know about a company unless you are working there, as a jobseeker you need to make sure that you are well-prepared to answer why you want to work for them and relate your skills to the position as much as possible.

What you need to do:

Before the interview, check out what is available online. Get to know the company’s mission statement, the names of the key people working there, their current goals and plans for expansion. If this information isn’t available, prepare a list of questions you want to ask employers in the interview. Company culture is also important here, so make sure that you prepare questions that can answer that. Here are some good examples:

  • What is the work life balance like here?
  • What kind of people succeed in this company?
  • How are employees recognized for their efforts?
  • What’s your company’s approach to team building and career development?

4. ‘We Don’t Want You to Be Yourself in the Interview’

man explaining something

Career experts often tell you that you need to relax and be yourself in the interview. But, recruiters don’t want this. In many cases, employers ask tricky questions just to see how you react. They do this because they want to see how you behave in stressful situations and by pressuring you they are trying to make you lose control. Also, they want to know what you are willing to do for them.

What you need to do:

While I won’t tell you ‘not to be yourself,' you can try and resist the pressure and the nerves by hiding those elements that you consider your weaknesses. So, for example, if you tend to talk too much, perhaps you can limit your answers to making them only one minute long or preferably less than that. Also, since employers aren’t your friends, you need to be able to talk in a formal way, skipping slang and words such as ‘err’, ‘dude’ or ‘kinda’ or ‘like’. These only show that you lack critical communication skills.

5. ‘We Are Tired of Hearing That You Are a Perfectionist’

woman with magnifying glass

If you want the job, then you need to stop giving the same generic answers every one gives to employers. Preparing for the interview isn’t all about memorizing answers and focusing on abilities that may not even be your strongest points. You have to remember that every individual is different and as such your answers need to be different. This means that you can’t admit to the same weaknesses or strengths, or at least if you do, you have to make sure you are unique and original.

What you need to do:

Telling employers that you are a perfectionist, a team-player, a go-getter, or a self-motivated individual won’t convince employers to give you the job, so it’s best that you drop these. Instead, when employers ask you to talk about your skills refer to past accomplishments and explain what you have done that’s considered an achievement. And when they ask you about a weakness, you can always think of a weakness that can be turned into a strength.

6. ‘We Are Doing the Best We Can so That You Like Us’

people waiting for interview

In a job interview, you aren’t the only one who’s trying to impress. Recruiters are hoping that you are impressed by them too. You just feel more intimidated because it looks like they are the ones calling the shots. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Employers are also trying their best to make you want to work for them and asking the right questions will help you find out whether they are a good fit for you.

What you need to do:

You can tell how much effort a recruiter is putting into presenting the company as the perfect place to work depending on how much money they spend creating eye-catching job adverts. As such, you need to be prepared to do the same for yourself. This will make them feel threatened and allow you to sit in the interrogator’s chair for a change. If you manage to present yourself as the perfect catch, they will end up doing whatever they can to convince you to choose them over other employers.

7. ‘We Don’t Always Hire the Most Qualified Candidate’

woman during job interview

Did you know that you don’t have to be the most skilled candidate to get the job? Apparently, your qualifications, work experience and glowing job references alone won't guarantee that you will be successful if you lack other essential qualities such as respect, passion or enthusiasm for the job. So, even though your resume says that you have what it takes to get the job, you won’t unless you show how much you want it.

What you need to do:

To increase your chances of getting the job, work on the things that you need to improve. If you think your resume is strong but lack confidence perhaps you should work on improving your body language. When you are in the interview, make sure that you keep eye contact with the employers and that your body language says you are open and honest. Also, don’t forget to smile, give a strong handshake and listen carefully to what the interviewers are saying.

Hopefully, these seven secrets gave you enough information to help you make a strong impression next time you have an interview.

Do you think there is anything else that hiring managers don’t want jobseekers to know? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…