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5 things HR still wishes all job candidates knew

Use these insights to do better in your next job interview.

5 things HR still wishes all job candidates knew

Ever wonder what the human resource professionals who interview you are thinking? Chances are there are a few things they wish they could tell you. Last year, we published a popular article titled “5 things HR wishes all job candidates knew.” Today, we’re sharing a few more things HR would like you to know before you come in for an interview.

That they want to see who you are

You may be so eager to demonstrate your value to the company that you forget to be yourself, and that can be a mistake, says Tony Sorensen, CEO of Versique Search and Consulting. “Some candidates are so focused on impressing the hiring manager with their knowledge and experience that they forget to show their true personality.” But as more companies look to hire for cultural fit, a candidate with a great personality can sometimes beat out one with a stronger resume. Relax and let your real self shine through.

That progress shows potential

“Employers are looking for applicants who are eager to change and evolve at the same pace as the growing company,” says Patrice Rice, founder and CEO of Patrice & Associates. Showing how you’ve grown to take on more responsibilities and get promoted can give hiring managers insight into how you might develop at their companies.

“Every applicant should be interested in communicating the progress they have made whether it’s a promotion, solving a big problem or saving the company money,” Rice says. “A clear-cut path of progress should be apparent.”

A little about your interviewers

You know to research the company and industry to be up-to-date before your interview — but have you checked up on the people who will be interviewing you? Reading their bios on the company website or online professional profile can provide even more insight — and can make you look good when you demonstrate it. “Show that you went the extra mile to do some research and relate to the interviewer,” says HR consultant Jennifer Brown.

How you’ll solve their problems

“I wish candidates knew how impressive it is to articulate how they can envision solving the company's problems,” says Allen Cheng, co-founder of PrepScholar.com. Candidates demonstrate several qualities when they do, including expertise, interest and presentation. “If you're applying to a job, paint a picture of how you might be solving the company's problems. Few hiring managers will find it presumptuous, and if you're a true expert in your work, you'll deeply impress them.”

About yourself

Hiring managers ask deep questions sometimes, and shallow answers aren’t impressive. “I continue to be amazed by the poor insight many candidates have about themselves,” says Neil Jacobs, a business psychologist with more than 20 years of experience assessing and coaching senior executives.

It can be a challenge to step outside yourself and look back in, but a lack of rich, deep self-reflection makes it hard to talk about what motivates you and who you are at your core, Jacobs says. “I hear the same trite, overused values trotted out time and time again, but so often, candidates struggle to articulate what’s really unique or different about them. I wish they had better self-insight; I wish they knew themselves better.”


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