Are You 'Awesome' For The Job, According To Hiring Managers?

You got the resume in the right hands, the recruiter loved you during the phone screen and now, it’s time to talk with the hiring manager. Before you go in there, you should know that hiring managers have their own ideas of “awesome for the job” and sometimes they do not align with that recruiter’s vision of the position. Related: 6 Things Job Seekers Do That Hiring Managers LOVE So many times, this is where a prospective hire goes north or south. Because it is ultimately the hiring manager who you’ll be working for, and his or her thoughts on the interview and you as a candidate are what’s going to matter. And throughout the process, the hiring manager is going to be thinking one these things:


  1. I don’t know exactly what I want until I see it.
  2. I am not sure how you’ll help me.
  3. I am meeting with you as a courtesy to the HR team.
  4. I have another candidate in mind.
I know, totally unfair and not very cool, but it is true. The good news, here's how you overcome each and every one of these objections, and how you can leave the interview and follow-up situations in the best possible position to be selected for the role.

1 & 2. I don't know what I want until I see it/I am not sure how you’ll help me.

In my role as hiring manager, I have to admit; I am really bad at reading resumes. They don’t work for me for a variety of reasons. Mostly because they are generic and I think the job I am hiring for is very specific. Plus, I like narratives and visuals and those are hard to execute in a resume. So, to overcome this hiring manager thought you should do two things: one, ask direct questions about the role and the tasks and working with me. Get at my expectations for the role and when you get there, tell me stories, or show me examples of how you did that for someone else and totally rocked it. Then, I will start seeing you as what I want AND how you can help me. Two objections handled via one tactic. If you want to read more about what questions to ask: read this.

3. I am meeting with you as a courtesy to the HR team.

This one is tough. We trust our recruiting partners to bring us the best candidates. Sometimes we aren’t feeling it, but it is very easy to overcome this one by showing me why you killed the phone screen. Chances are you did great in that scenario because you were energetic, excited, and had excellent answers to their questions. You bring that same level of energy, excitement, and focused answers to questions, it is easy to overcome this objection.

4. I have another candidate in mind.

Of all the objections, this is potentially the toughest to overcome. First, because you don’t know that this may be the case and two, it is impossible to elegantly ask about it. So, the advice here is this: Assume that there is someone else who is also awesome from a skills point of view, and focus your energy on determining if you and the hiring manager can connect and grow the role and company together. I am a big believe in hire for attitude/culture train for skill. If you and I hit it off in an interview and I can see working with you and growing my company with you, the other candidate will have something to live up to. Keep in mind that getting a job is a two-way street. You need to be impressed with the hiring manager, too. So, if they do not read your resume before hand, or fail to respond to your follow-up message, that is a reflection of their approach, and should be taken into account if and when you get an offer. This post was originally published on an earlier date.

Related Posts

Top 15 Words Hiring Managers Want To See On Your Resume How To Annoy Hiring Managers How Hiring Managers Make Decisions

About the author

With passion and an innate curiosity, Tracey strives to push the envelope to create great experiences for talent. Tracey has been developing digital, mobile and social solutions for nearly 20 years in the talent acquisition space. Currently CredHive’s CEO, she is dedicated to changing the way hiring is done to create a more level playing field for talent. Visit CredHive to learn more.   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!