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3 Surefire Ways to Impress a Hiring Manager

by Joshua Waldman, Career Enlightenment | Jan 30, 2017

I’m learning how to hire. My business is growing and I recently needed to hire a new customer service rep. So, I got a book on interviews and read some articles online.

Every HR expert seems to have their own strongly-held-to opinion about the best questions to ask, and what to look for in a candidate.

So I tried out three of these “must-ask” questions that I read about for my series of interviews. After the third interview, I realized that the questions I was asking weren’t as important as simply knowing three important things about a candidate.

When going into a job interview, make it your No. 1 goal to be sure your interviewer knows these three things about you, even if they don’t ask directly.

1. Can You Be Trained to Do the Job?

I am building a new process for handling clients. My new customer service rep will be part of developing that new process. So I can’t just ask them, “Can you do this?”

I really need to know if they can learn my way of doing things using my software.

The best answer I received was from my second candidate who recounted a story from her last job. There, she’d observed the chaotic nature of her boss. After a few weeks of chaos, she built a system to help keep him, and the business, more organized.

I’d rather hire that experience than someone who simply knows how to handle an angry customer (which is also important, but can also be trained). I needed someone trainable and flexible.

2. Do I Even Like You?

One of the must-ask questions I read about was, “If you had a superpower, what would it be? Why?”

I asked all of my candidates. Many of them wanted to be invisible. Not a fan!

One laughed at my question (good sign!) and then asked me the question back (another good sign!).

I told her I would like the ability to fly. She said, “That’s a good one. I think I would teleport. I like to travel but don’t like waiting for visas.”

This one conversation stood out to me because it wasn’t a one-word answer. There was some humor and character. She showed personality and I like that.

If I were to hire her, I’d have to get along with her. I’d also rely on her to give me feedback I might not want to hear.

3. What Really Motivates You?

Anyone can BS a job interview. I know. I’ve done it many times!

What happens six or 12 months later? Are you still as peppy as you seemed that first day?

In my recent interviews, I distinctly looked for candidates who could show me they liked what they did and had every intention of keeping up that energy for a long time. Sure, I’m just offering them a job. They don’t have to live and die for it, but some amount of interest would be nice!

One candidate’s passion for building desktop computers alone was a red flag. He spends his free time at a very individual task. Even as an introvert myself, I still like to be with people, be it friends or family.

Another candidate, on the other hand, showed excitement when talking about interesting conversations he’d struck with random people during his vacation holidays.

I’d definitely go for the person excited about random conversations for my customer service job!

Answer These and Ace the Interview!

Keeping these three questions in mind and trying to answer them during a job interview is going to help you land meaningful work.

But, if you can answer these questions BEFORE you sit down for an interview, you’re one step ahead. Not only will you land more interviews, but your interviewer will be more at ease with you. The trick is to make sure your LinkedIn profile and other social networks also answer these questions.

About the Author

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, is the founder of Career Enlightenment, which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern jobseeker.