Long before they sit down with each interviewee for a given position, most managers carefully prepare the scene. They determine exactly what they'd like to accomplish during the meeting and what they'd like to learn about the candidate, and they often make a special effort to keep the meeting on track by drafting a written script beforehand.
Most managers want their interviews to be:
- Efficient (covering several important topics in a short time)
- Fair and comparable (so that each candidate can be easily measured against the others)
- Open-ended (so that candidates can add additional information to the dialogue if they choose)
As each interview moves forward, there are several indicators that let managers know they're on track to a successful hiring process. Here are a few of the phrases and comments they especially like to hear.
1. "I've made plenty of mistakes. I'm not afraid to tell you this. But every time I make a mistake, I learn something from the experience."
Most managers don't want candidates who are afraid to make mistakes or who can't tolerate risk. So be open about your past mistakes and blunders, especially if you're asked to describe them. Just make sure you also explain the insights and wisdom you gained from these moments.
2. "I've done this exact type of work before. In my previous workplace, we use the XYZ system for document and accounts management. Oh, you use the very same system here? That's great news."
There's nothing more appealing than a candidate who can step right into his or her new role without requiring prolonged, expensive training. Before the session ends, your interviewer will already be counting up the money she stands to save and the headaches she can avoid by hiring you instead of someone else.
3. "Over the next five years, I'd like to become a senior sales rep and expand my knowledge and expertise into the marketing arena. Oh, that's exactly how you hope to develop the candidate who steps into this open position? Perfect."
Manager's love when a candidate's personal hopes and aspirations line up with the needs of the company. This means the candidate will be likely to stay on board as the organization grows and its demands begin to shift.
4. "I left my last position because I had no opportunities to work on my leadership skills."
Most managers are interested in ambitious candidates who are looking for ways to climb the ladder, expand their skill sets, and take on leadership roles that can contribute to group success.
5. "I've been watching this company closely for a long time. I admire your brand, and it's always been my dream to work here."
Managers usually like to hear positive things about the organization they work for. It makes them feel proud and they enjoy knowing that their candidates already support the company and believe in its products and services. This paves the way for a positive—and long-term—relationship.
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