This Is What Hiring Managers Are Looking for During an Interview

Even highly skilled professionals can find the interview process daunting. Figuring out what the hiring manager is looking for can be a challenge. While you can determine quite a bit from the must-have skills list and other aspects of the job description, hiring managers are typically looking for something more than those ads suggest.

Standing out from the crowd means bringing more to the table than technical ability. If you want to make sure that you shine during the interview, here’s a look at what hiring managers want to see.


While it may be tempting to try and morph yourself into the kind of person you think the hiring manager wants you to be, it’s almost always a bad idea. Being yourself during an interview is essential. When you are authentic, you’re giving the hiring manager a clearer idea of who you are. Plus, most experienced interviewers can tell if you aren’t genuine.

Being authentic isn’t as difficult as it may sound. Let your passion shine through when you discuss something about the role or field that excites you. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable when you talk about your weaknesses. Skip the unnecessary buzzwords and meaningless clichés. If you do all of that, you increase your odds of showcasing who you are as a real person.

Communication Skills

When you interview, you want to be clear but concise. Being able to get to the point quickly and articulate your thoughts well is a valuable skill. As a result, hiring managers gauge how effective you are as a communicator based on how you answer their questions.

As you respond to a question, try to convey the main idea quickly. Brevity is your ally. If you can give a strong answer in just a few sentences, do it. You never want to ramble, so resist the urge to keep speaking once you have articulated your point.

Polite and Considerate

Hiring managers prefer to hire candidates who are considerate, professional, and polite. Simple gestures, like arriving at your interview on time and thanking the hiring manager at the end of the meeting, can go a long way, so don’t overlook them.

Interest in the Role

In nearly all cases, a hiring manager is going to favor the candidate who is enthusiastic about the opportunity over a job seeker who is blasé about it. While you don’t want to go overboard, make it clear that the job interests you, and not just as a stepping stone to something bigger in the future. Discuss what about the position intrigues you or aligns with your passions. That way, you can highlight why you want this particular role and stand out from those who don’t make that effort.

That You’re Prepared

Hiring managers can tell if you haven’t prepared for your interview. They’ll notice if you are struggling to come up with answers to questions because you didn’t give the meeting much thought in advance. Additionally, they may ask you questions about the company and will take notice if you don’t know anything about the business.

A little preparation ensures that you can make a solid impression. While you don’t need to research everything in-depth or rehearse every possible moment, take some time to review details about the role and company. Additionally, practice your interview answers, ensuring you can share your thoughts with ease.

If you’d like to learn more about what hiring managers are looking for during an interview, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruiters today and see how our interviewing expertise can benefit you.


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