6 Things Hiring Managers Think But Don’t Say

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By Lindsay Olson

A job interview can be nerve-racking. Hiring managers, after all, are known for their poker faces; you can never really know what one is thinking about you, sweaty palms and all. Or can you? Here are six things that an human resources manager might be thinking, and how you can present your best self in an interview.

1. Will she always be late like this? Even if you’re normally punctual, showing up late to an interview can cause the hiring manager to wonder if this is a regular occurrence. She may reason that if you were serious about this job you would have taken measures to circumvent the traffic/getting lost/not knowing what to wear excuse you used upon coming in the door.

What to do: Give yourself twice as long as you think you need to get ready and drive to your interview. It’s better to be early than late and have her questioning your level of commitment. If you arrive early, stay in the car and practice your interview answers.

2. Is this how he’ll dress at work? Come to an interview in less than professional dress, and you might get a raised eyebrow from the person interviewing you. They say “dress for the job you want,” so if you come in wearing flip-flops or a mini-skirt, the hiring manager might assume you’re not professional enough for the job.

What to do: Even if you wear more casual clothing for the position you’re interviewing for, it’s better to dress up than to dress down.

3. Did he lie on his résumé? If you stumble when asked questions you should be able to answer, the employer may think you fibbed on your résumé. You might chalk it up to nervousness, but she may not see it that way. That’s why practicing how you’ll respond to certain questions, like those about your past work duties and accomplishments, can help you speak confidently in an interview.

What to do: Always, always be completely honest on your résumé, and prepare to back up and elaborate on anything an employer might have questions about.

4. Will he jump ship? If you have a short stint at a company (for less than a year), a hiring manager may wonder about your ability to commit to a job long-term. And it is, of course, her goal to find the right person for the job and avoid a difficult and costly replacement.

What to do: Prepare to overcome that obstacle immediately. While you don’t need to draw attention to it, you do need to be able to quickly explain those jumps and set the hiring manager’s mind at ease. You know what you’re looking for in your next move and can ask the right questions during the interviews to determine if the opportunity fits your needs and long-term career goals.

5. Is he this sloppy in his work? If your résumé is riddled with grammatical errors, you probably won’t even get a call for an interview. Even if your day-to-day job doesn’t involve a lot of writing, a hiring manager wants to know that you pay attention to your work and can catch mistakes without correction from a superior.

What to do: Proofread your résumé repeatedly. Use spell check. Proofread it again. Then have at least two friends proofread it. This is the one document you can’t send out with mistakes. Employers at this stage in the evaluation process can be unforgiving.

6. His personality isn’t a good fit. Your skills and experience plays a large role in a hiring manager’s decision of whether you’re the ideal candidate or not, but your personality and “culture fit” are equally important. This may be difficult to master, since you never know what she’s looking for in terms of what will mesh well with the existing team.

What to do: If you’re known for being outspoken, dial it down a little. If you’re normally shy and soft-spoken, ratchet it up. You want to be yourself and let your personality shine, but don’t allow your nerves to overemphasize some of your personality traits.


5 Skills Everyone Needs to Have on a Resume


By Ritika Trikha

If your resume feels a little thin or you can’t seem to fill up the Skills & Expertise section of your LinkedIn profile, then it’s time to do something about it. There are countless free educational tools on the Web that make it easier than ever to teach yourself valuable skills that will help to create a robust resume.

Your resume is more than a summary of your past experience. It’s a tool that can help propel your career growth–that is, if you highlight skills, language, and the context of the job you want, rather than regurgitating your past experience.

Consider boosting your skills in the following:

1. Excel

Many job-seekers list Excel as one of their skills, even if they only have a mastery of the basics. Set aside some time this evening or weekend to learn some new features.

Excel is valuable because it offers some essential ways to analyze a lot of info in the least amount of time. Go beyond the basics of formulas and equations and learn about features like Excel’s PivotCharts, custom functions, Visual Basics for Applications, and more. Search for free tutorials online; you’ll be bombarded with resources and videos.

2. Web Development (Java, HTML, SQL)

Many experts agree that having knowledge of computer languages is particularly appealing to today’s employers. Learning Web development isn’t just applicable for IT professionals. Whether you’re a new business grad or a seasoned professional looking to brush up on the latest in-demand skills, learning the basics may make you more relevant.

All you have to do is start. Free tutorials from, Code Academy, and other coding resources will give you step-by-step instructions on the basics.

3. Adobe Creative Suite

Practicing creative web tools is a great way to develop some basic graphic design skills. Adobe is very widely used for just this–so if you can get your hands on the software, then you can choose your favorite application and begin learning.

The suite includes various creative applications, including InDesign, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver–all programs that companies rely on to create engaging Web designs and layouts. You never know when you might be able to lend a hand in a new project that requires proficiency in using one of these apps.

Start now by taking advantage of Adobe’s How-To Channel, which hosts videos for beginners.

4. Foreign Language

Learning a new language can open up a lot of doors for you as a professional. In fact, becoming fluent in a second language could even offer you the opportunity to work in another country.

The most popular language-learning courses are effective, but they can also be costly. Instead, teach yourself at home by taking advantage of a free online course. In fact, free online courses are growing in popularity. Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of California, Berkeley are some colleges that are sharing courses online.

If, for instance, you decide to learn Mandarin, check out MIT’s OpenCourseWare. You’ll find course material, audio demonstrations, study groups, and more for beginning to intermediate levels of Mandarin.

5. Google Analytics

Web 2.0 is centered on Google. The ability to track and analyze how Google ranks and organizes information can be invaluable both personally and professionally. Google Analytics can help job-seekers manage their online presence (LinkedIn profile, Twitter, personal website, etc.) to enhance their marketability to potential employers. To start, type “Google Analytics IQ Online Course” in Google and watch one of the training videos.