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Interviewing From Hiring Manager’s Perspective

Our good friend Daniel attended an interviewing webinar from UCLA Anderson in March and shared his notes with us. We hope you find these notes helpful in your career search:


4631569Sourcing Candidates:

  • hiring manager uses their network more than ever because postings get too many responses these days
  • candidates need to have their name out there as someone who has skills and as someone who is looking or available
  • internal recruiters don’t have a lot of time to scan and screen candidates so aren’t as thorough as in the past

Candidates, Resumes, and the Application Process:

  • Send recruiters your resume along with some sample job descriptions that you’re interested in
  • cover letters are important: i’m being introduced/referred by ____ who i know from ____, i’m applying for ____ and i’m relevant because of (3 bullet points that tie directly to the job spec)
  • should be proficient answering questions via email succinctly and relevant to the job spec; try and understand the “cultural fit” that they are trying to find in a candidate
  • if going for something specific like med device, then you need to have whatever you’ve done related to med device pop out, maybe join an organization or get a certification to show interest

050711hiringInterview Process:

  • first round: determine if prospect has the requisite skills, recruiter
  • second round: assess skills, competencies, and fit, hiring manager
  • final round: assess candidates, meet peers, executives, behavioral interviews

The Jury

  • hiring manager: decision maker
  • other executives, peers: decision maker sometimes, or just input
  • recruiter: process owner, input
  • direct reports, staff: meet, input

Broad Brush Interview:

  • high level questions on the resume
  • share some accomplishments relevant to the job
  • may also have different people ask for different aspects of your competencies

business-man-handshake-by-HenksterBehavioral Interview:

  • share some of your innovative ideas
  • examples of working with teams
  • talk about processes you use
  • accomplishments relevant to the specific job
  • candidates should be careful to distinguish between “I” and “We” because it will hint at whether you lead or whether you follow
  • candidate should match their response to the person asking the question; e.g. if talking to a peer, answer question from peer perspective and if talking to an executive, should talk about how they worked with an executive
  • candidate should be methodical about their answer, and allow the interviewer to go deeper if they desire

Preparing For Behavioral Interview:

  • use old fashioned index cards; on each one write down a project or something you’re proud of. on the back, use STAR: situation, task, activities, results
  • in upper right hand of card, write the theme or competency that this relates to, tie to the job spec
  • in lower right hand of card, write the name of someone who could speak about this result, like a stakeholder who was pleased, so you can answer the question “who did you impact positively” or “who would say something positive about you”
  • best way to answer a question about your greatest failure is to share something unrelated to the job
  • know what your strengths are or what other people would say your strengths are; go back to your last performance review or instances when you received kudos, thanks, reward and for what type of strength you demonstrated in order to receive that

business_people2Other Interview Requirements:

  • have some examples of your presentations or other deliverables (budgets, models, power points, etc) ready (i.e. names and other confidential info removed) to share
  • be prepared with questions for the interviewer, and when prompted give them the reasons why you think you’d be a great fit and ask them “do you have any reservations that i can address at this time”, because they’re going to leave the interview and talk about you, and you want to have that reservation resolved. only ask this question of the main decision maker.
  • thank you letters absolutely necessary and they do make a difference; especially with entertainment companies. one hiring manager won’t move any candidates along until they get a thank you letter. timing is more important than the content, i.e. in the first 24 hours. use email to send the thank you because again its about getting it out in the first 24 hours, unless the interviewer has gone out of their way like taking you to lunch
  • always ask for a business card or contact info
  • when doing a follow up, send no more than one email, no more than one voice mail; after that, block your number when calling until you get the person on the phone live
  • when asked about a supervisor you didn’t have a good relationship with, use another executive and an explanation of why they can’t talk to your supervisor, e.g. I’m also interviewing internally and I don’t want my supervisor to know that I’m interviewing externally

For more info go to: http://alumni.anderson.ucla.edu/career

2 Responses to "Interviewing From Hiring Manager’s Perspective"

  • sleevlitttas.xyz
    March 4, 2016 - 5:06 pm Reply

    This is one of the most common mistakes candidates make, but it s also the easiest to avoid. Sit up straight, speak with enthusiasm, look the interviewer in the eye and engage your audience.  When people are passionate it s contagious, and it gets passed on to others says Niswander. Hiring managers are looking for someone who will motivate and inspire others.  They will not take on an employee who might bring down their team.

  • Hosting
    May 10, 2016 - 1:55 am Reply

    Too often, hiring managers see candidates who are passive and lack energy during the interview. They slump their shoulders, speak in a monotone voice, avoid eye contact, or fail to demonstrate why they would love working for that company.

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