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May 19, 2014

What Recruiters Are Thinking During An Interview

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What Recruiters Are Thinking...

By Lindsay Olson, Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs

You've just got that call you've been expecting the entire week. Finally, an answer after all these applications! That awesome company wants you to come over for an interview in the next few days. Anxiety strikes. You know that position is just perfect for you. They also believe you're qualified enough otherwise, they wouldn't want to meet in person.

Now, all you have to do is prove to them that you stand out from the crowd and are in fact the best choice amongst the other candidates. You can do that by knowing a little bit more about those who are about to interview you what they think about the hiring process, the candidate's behaviors, and what they are tired of hearing.

We know what you did last summer

Recruiters are professional stalkers. They have Googled you and have read what you wrote on online forums, Facebook posts, tweets and photos. This can work out in your favor, as blogging the right way can do wonders to your resume, but it can also be harmful if you're careless with your online behavior.

The way you express yourself (tone and word usage) and your interests say a lot about the person you are and what you can bring to the company. Bring them up in the interview and use them to your advantage. But be careful make sure there's nothing to be found. Google yourself and delete any inappropriate pictures, dubious statements and any other remarks that could raise an eyebrow.

The Devil wears Prada, you on the other hand

Remember when Anne Hathaway played an assistant to an infamous fashion magazine owner on The Devil Wears Prada and had to go through a massive makeover? Remember why that happened? She was not in tune with the company's culture. Think of that as an inspiration for when you're choosing the outfit for your next interview. Every company has different dress codes, so do your research beforehand. It's always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

Yeah, yeah we know you're a perfectionist

Drop the cliche when answering interview questions. The interviewer called you in because they want to have a grasp of the real you, how you talk, behave and react to a few situations. Try to relax and be yourself. Small talk is okay, but focus on what is of value to the position you're applying. Give examples of situations that you've gone through, problems you've overcome and make the conversation more tangible. Show how your experience can be a valuable asset to the company.

We prefer charisma over a flawless resume

The perfect candidate is not the most qualified, in terms of knowledge that is. Don't assume you'll get that job just because you've met all the necessary requirements. You could have gone to the best universities, gotten only straight A's and worked with some of the most respectable clients in the past, but if there's no spark between you and the recruiter, that means squat. That's right, the "Likeability Factor" plays a big role.

How do you get them to like you? That's a tricky question and a wide array of factors are involved. If you wonder how your personality comes out in an interview, practice with a friend and ask them to give you feedback. Eye contact, tone of voice, level of enthusiasm and confidence is the key to come out as a likable candidate - pay attention to your non-verbal communications. Truth is, a hiring manager will hire someone that they want to be around, both as a co-worker and as a person.

All in all, keep in mind that the person you're about to meet knows a lot more than you might think and way beyond what's written on your resume. Make sure you do too, be aware of your online presence and your attitude towards the interviewer and the company. That's what's going to keep you ahead of the competition.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs, a niche job board for public relations, communications and social media jobs. She blogs at, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues. To learn more about Lindsay, follow this link.

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