Monday, August 30, 2010

21 Things Hiring Managers Wish You Knew (day 2)

We pay attention to the small stuff.

Frequently, I see candidates act as if only “official” contacts—like interviews and formal writing samples—count during the hiring process. They’ll send flawless cover letters and then check up on their applications with sloppily written E-mails with spelling errors. Or they’ll be charming and polite to me but rude to an assistant. I pay attention to how quickly a candidate responds to requests for writing samples and references, and even how fast he or she returns phone calls.

21 Things Hiring Managers Wish You Knew (day 1)

We actually want you to be honest.

I see too many job applicants who approach the interview as if their only goal is to win a job offer, losing sight of the fact that this can land them in the wrong job. Think of it like dating. This means being honest about your strengths and weaknesses and giving the hiring manager a glimpse of the real you, so he or she can make an informed decision about how well you’d do in the job.
Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results.