If you are a lucky job candidate, you will be interviewed by the decision maker, the individual who manages the department in which you will be working. If you are a salesperson, the hiring manager would probably be the sales manager. If you are in production or manufacturing environment, the hiring manager would most likely be the production manager, perhaps the manufacturing manager, or in a small company the plant manager. The ultimate decision maker is always the chief executive officer of the company.
When that hiring manager is interviewing you, whatever their job title, they have many concerns.What are those concerns?
First, the manager wonders how quickly you will get up to speed: how long will it take you to become productive? Further, the manager will wonder about the quality of your work. Are you sloppy? Does someone constantly need to check your work? Will you deliver an honest day’s work? Do you endeavor daily to deliver the best that you can do? The manager might be wondering if you are lazy, provide minimal effort and need constant direction.
The manager is also interested in your attendance record at your previous employers. Do you frequently call-in sick, arrive late, leave early? Are your breaks longer than company policy provides? Do you come back from lunch on time?
If the company is having a particularly stressful day, a large order is late, a major customer demands quick and immediate attention, will you step up to the plate? Will you be part of the team to solve the problem, or will you make things worse by displaying a negative and uncooperative attitude?
The manager wants to hire someone who works well with other departments or team members. Do you display a positive attitude of cooperation, or are you a chronic complainer or worse, a braggart? Are you arrogant, conceited, rude, petty, pushy, antagonistic, or moody?
The manager is concerned that you will show pride in your work, your appearance, and your behavior. Will you shoulder responsibility for your mistakes and errors and not blame others for your sloppy work? Are you honest?
Will you represent the company in a positive way to customers?
Remember when you are hired the company is taking a chance that what you tell them in the interview is what you will deliver! If you look at things from the point of view of the company – something almost no one ever does! – you will be more likely to understand the risk that the company is taking when it hires you. Many times, the only information the company has about you is what you tell them, what is listed on your résumé, and what your references say about you.
This is one of the reasons some companies refuse to hire directly and, instead use a temporary employment agency. Only when the company believes that you are a valued member of their team will they extend a permanent full-time offer of employment.
In many ways the job market and interview process makes you become the best that you can be. Put your best foot forward. Present your best attitude, your best appearance, best communication skills. In many cases, the interview process forces you to improve in all of these areas.
The interview process is an opportunity for you to sell your skills and abilities, to improve yourself. And at the end of the interview, be sure to present a final closing statement: why they should hire you, what you can do for the company, what skills and abilities do you have that relate directly to the position for which you are being hired. And be sure to ask for the job – or move to the next step.