4 Ways to Impress a Hiring Manager

Interviewing can be a tricky practice. Navigating the professional world isn’t easy when it’s your first time. As a recruiter, I’ve gathered some of my best kept secrets for new graduates and blooming young professionals.

  1. First Impressions are everything.

-Arrive on time. Respect the hiring manager’s time, and don’t arrive too early. And arriving too late spells trouble for you. This is a responsibility left entirely up to you, and the manager’s time is just as valuable as yours.

-Dress for the career you want. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Your appearance leaves an impression on the manager and it’s a reflection of how you represent yourself. Be sure to leave a great impression!

-Bring a copy of your résumé. Sounds easy, right? While the manager may come down with a printed copy, it’s important you have an extra on hand. It’s another way to show the manager you came prepared.

-Show respect to everyone you meet. This is very important – it’s the little things that really add up at the end of each interview. Everyone from the receptionist to the hiring manager is watching you. Stand and greet your interviewer, shake his or her hand and smile!

-Finally, do your research on the role and the company. Adequate research is necessary to show the manager you are genuinely interested in the position and the opportunity to work for the company.

  1. Use your recruiter as a resource

Time is limited in an interview. Both you and the interviewer should be focused on the position, the expectations and how your experience will fit a specific role. Use your recruiter as an additional resource to ask them questions regarding salary, hours, vacation time, etc. You want to leverage your time with the manager to communicate how your background and skills will translate into the position; the other details are more suited for your recruiter. Don’t be afraid to ask him or her about the basics and the essentials.

  1. Check your expectations at the door

Realistic expectations about a post-graduate career can be hard to manage. With so many different opportunities to explore, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what you want in a career. Not just anyone is able to walk off the stage, diploma in-hand and be ready to run the next great business! A desire to learn new things, be open to training and work hard is something every hiring manager wants to see. Having high salary expectations, expressing disinterest in a “desk job” or grumbling about overtime could be a deciding factor for the hiring manager to choose another candidate over you. Not everyone will get their dream job their first time around. While you should be vocal about your career goals, remember that everyone has to start somewhere.

  1. Ask the right questions

Proper research on the company allows you to ask questions that aren’t easily found online.

Asking questions is a great way for the hiring manager to gauge your interest. Your recruiter said the company has a lot of opportunities; but how do you find out about those opportunities without seeming uninterested in the role you’re interviewing for? The key is in the way you phrase the question. Asking “How long do I have to do this job until I can transfer into the next role?” is world’s different from “Tell me about your journey with this company. Did you start in a similar position and advance?” This shows you are interested in a long-term commitment to the company and that you’re an ambitious, young professional.

Finding your first career can be exciting and challenging. Don’t let the fear of not finding perfection in the first step keep you from focusing on great opportunities that will lead you to your dream career!