How are hiring decisions made?

Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a hiring manager looking at resumes for the job that you want? Here are some basic questions you need to understand and prepare.

Generally, the questions in the mind of hiring managers include:

» How is this candidate going to contribute to the revenue, profit or reduced costs within my organization? Will this person give me the results I need? Can I count on higher performance? Can they manage costs effectively? Is quality one of their top accomplishments in the past? Can I expect extra effort when it's required?

» What does this candidate have that we need and what skills are missing? What skills or experience isn’t on their resume? Does the candidate have the expertise to take us to the next level of performance? Does the candidate have experiences in new functional areas that we will need for the future?

» What will determine the finalist candidate over all others? What’s unique about the finalist candidate? What sets them apart from the rest? (This is a question you need to answer before even beginning to write your resume for a specific job opening.)

Unless you know the answers to these questions, you won’t get very far. Broadly, what is the hiring manager looking for when she or he interviews you?

» Are you a businessperson who understands how your function relates to the total business result? If you don't understand how you affect the business through your function, then I'm not interested in you. Can you translate our objectives into actionable strategies to get the results we need? What is the return-on-investment you’ll provide if you’re hired?

» Are you technically competent to deal with the issues of today and tomorrow? Does the candidate know what they're doing? Will they functionally support our efforts over the next five years or more? That's what you should emphasize in your resume and interview. Can you articulate those results in business terms within your current role? If you can't, you lose.

» Are you going to be a comfortable fit in my organization?: Will you fit into our culture and operating style? Will you be received as a contributor, as part of the team effort? Hiring managers are not interested in a problem child.

Remember: Finalist candidates meet the needs of the hiring manager. So target your answers to the questions above based on the needs of the hiring manager, not on your needs.

Kaufmann is president My Greener Future. For a free resume assessment, sent it to: wkaufmann44@gmail.com

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