As much time and thought you put into creating your resume, you’d think a company knows almost everything it needs to know about you. In today’s world, companies also have additional sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn and even Google searches to get the scoop on you. Still, a hiring manager isn’t really going to get all the facts she needs until you step inside her office. That said, here are some characteristics and skills she’ll be looking for and how you can show her you’re the perfect candidate for the job.
Ability to Communicate
You may say you have excellent communication skills on your resume, but interviewers will want you to demonstrate these skills — particularly your listening and speaking skills. So listen to all the questions she asks and answer them accordingly. This demonstrates your ability to follow directions. When answering questions, speak in a distinct manner and use lots of descriptive verbs related to the job, such as managed, organized, analyzed and executed. Answer questions in a logical format instead of rambling on and providing details out of order. Similarly, ask questions in sequential way instead of being discursive and not getting to the point.
You may have mentioned that you helped increase revenue in your territory 10 percent as a sales rep, but you’ll have to elaborate how you accomplished that in an interview. One way to communicate accomplishments is by demonstrating performance recognition. These can be awards, letters or other physical documents that show how you excelled on past jobs. You can also relate accomplishments by using the SAR formula, which stands for Situation, Action and Results. SARS are simply stories of how you approached a particular project, which you must define, the steps you took to complete it, including any adversities you overcame, and the results you achieved. Always state your results in metrics, such as dollars, percentages or specific benefits to the organization.
If you’re vying for a technical or management position, you’ll inevitably be asked to describe situations where you were faced with certain challenges and how you overcome them. You can use some of your SAR stories to answer these types of questions if they relate. Otherwise, you have to come up with other examples. That’s why it’s best to anticipate these questions in advance and have answers for them. Quint Careers lists a number of interview questions on its site and how to answer them. You can also read books on answering interview questions. How you answer the questions will let the interviewer know how well you solve problems.
Fit for Organization
Companies want to hire employees whose beliefs and values fit their corporate culture, according to Business News Daily. And it goes without saying that all companies are different with respect to fit. For many, a strong work ethic is necessary, or whether you work well in a team environment. Other companies may look at whether you’re passionate about a product or cause, depending on the industry it’s in. Personal image can also be a factor if you’re interviewing for a sales job or one where you’ll be working often with clients or the public.
Compatibility With Boss
In additional to your skills and ability to complete projects, your future boss also wants to know how well the two of you will work together — something that is never on a resume. You may have hobbies in common, or the hiring manager may be from the same area or have a similar personality. Compatibility is often more psychological in nature. But the underlying fact is that managers like to hire employees who are a lot like them, according to Business Insider.