Do you ever wonder what information the job interviewers are looking for?
The role of human resources during the hiring process is to protect the company from fraudulent employees. This may sound dramatic, but it’s true.
If you have ever watched the movie Catch Me If You Can, you will understand why companies are concerned about hiring new employees, especially if you are unknown to them.
This is important to consider as you prepare for your interview. What you should know before you engage with an organization is that hiring is a risky business for companies.
According to Leadership IQ, 46% of hires do not succeed after 18 months and the cost of hiring, onboarding and training is staggering. Human resources representatives serve the role as strategic advisor and gatekeeper for the organization, ensuring that candidates are carefully vetted.
Also, understand that the corporate recruiter will be calculating the cost of your hire, onboarding, training, and your expected performance and comparing this information with your competitors.
Gaps in employment history (are you productive and reliable?).
- Why so many jobs?
- Verify all claims on your resume (did you actually do everything you said you did?).
- What will your most recent manager say about you (what possible risks are there in taking a chance on you? Is there someone else who might be a better fit?).
- Why did you have so many positions? (Is there something in your past work experience that will be an issue for us?).
The Hiring Manager
- Will you get along with everyone? (Interpersonal and team skills).
- How long will it take for you to get productive? (What will your “onboarding” cost me? Could someone else get up to speed faster?)
- Will you show up every day on time? (Are you punctual?)
- Are you healthy? (This question will not be asked directly, but the decision-maker will wonder this).
What You Can Do
Your objective during the interview is to answer all of those unasked questions, because much of the time, these questions will be top of mind, but will never be asked.
Convince them you are the right choice by:
- Proactively explaining any gaps in the work history (I stayed home to raise my children before they began school).
- Using examples and stories that tell the interviewers the work you did at each job and the impact of your work on the department (I redesigned the workflow reducing production time by 20% saving the company millions of dollars).
- Tell them how well you got along with your manager and your team (be truthful, however).
- If you had multiple jobs over a short period of time because your companies were purchased every time, let them know that. This is particularly common in certain industries.
- Provide examples of your team skills with specific outcomes.
- Demonstrate your commitment to health and energy by explaining how you go to the gym, ski, or hike.
By understanding what’s important to HR and to the hiring-decision maker, you can better plan your interview with confidence.
As author and business guru, Harvey McKay, says “the closer you get, the harder they’ll look.”