hiring managers

What Hiring Managers Want: Are you Ready?

Stepping into the new year, almost everyone thinks about making some changes in their lives. For some it may be a lifestyle change and they start eating healthy. Others might seek a more professional change and look forward to securing a new role or even their first role ever. As the corporate space is changing rapidly, so is their process of hiring. Hiring managers are no longer seeking professionals who have readymade answers for the most obvious questions. Gone are the days when hiring managers asked, “What are your strengths and weaknesses”? This is not to say that you don’t have to discuss about your strengths and weaknesses, this simply reflects a changing situation where other questions are taking precedence. 

More often than not, hiring managers are looking for self starters who are ready to take ownership. Invariably, the questions of hiring managers are more about what drives you. The seek to judge whether you are a good match to the role as well as the company. There is now an increasing stress to find not only a technical fit, but also a cultural fit, which has become evident in the way hiring managers conduct interviews. Here we have collected a few important points that new age hiring managers look for today!

Your Enthusiasm About the Role

Conventionally, most candidates solely had their eyes on the expectations of the role and the technical requirements. Most hiring managers put forward technical questions and based on the candidate’s knowledge, selections were made. However, today, the focus is also on how the candidates react to the role, in addition to the technical knowledge and skills requirements. This translates to your excitement and enthusiasm about the same. You may be technically proficient, but, if the role doesn’t drive you, you may not be the perfect match. And this is want hiring managers seek. They read your body language when you talk about your suitability for the role. While there is no one way to express your enthusiasm about the role, being high on energy, discussing future plans, etc. can be a good way. 

The reason behind this approach is a relation between enthusiasm and commitment. It is obvious that something which excites and drives you will attract more commitment from your end. You will be able to outperform anyone if you truly believe in the importance of your role. And this belief is most easily expressed with enthusiasm about the role, which hiring managers seek.

Don’t Fix a Round Peg in a Square Hole

How many times has it happened that you go for an interview and strike out at one or the other question? Well, practically the answer for most people is ‘Every Interview’. As humans, we are prone to errors. Therefore, cannot have answers to every question that hiring managers present to us. However, the way we approach something we don’t have an answer to, is what hiring managers observe. More often than not, we try to fit a round peg in a square hole. This means we simply vomit out all we have learnt, irrespective of its relevance to the question. This is something that new age hiring managers despise. 

For them, it is ok to not have answers to all the questions. This is not to say that you don’t prepare for an interview. Rather, the idea is that in case you don’t have an answer to a particular question, don’t say whatever comes to your mind. Take time to comprehend the question. Chances are, a small pause will help you get the answer. However, in case you still have a blank slate, subtly send the message across. Well, obviously this is not a situation one wants to be in. However, it is at least better than being in a situation where you blurt out whatever you know, giving the impression that not only did you not know the answer, you also couldn’t understand the question. 

Understand the Company and its Culture

As we mentioned, today it is not only about the role, but also the company you interview for. Each organization has a unique culture, adapting to which is very important if you wish to grow professionally. Therefore, hiring managers are now looking for candidates who have taken the time to not only research the role requirements, but also to understand the company and its culture. With the changing nature and demands of the workforce, most organizations have a dynamic work culture, it is important to have a fair understanding of where you are going. 

Be aware, the hiring managers will never openly as you if you are comfortable with the company’s culture, because your answer will obviously be affirmative. Rather, they will subtly ask you other things to understand your adaptability to their culture. They may ask you how you like meeting new people or engaging with them. At this point they may actually be testing if you are a fit for their close knit culture. Therefore, completely understand the company and prepare accordingly.

Display leadership Skills

While it is true that all hiring managers seek a perfect fit for the role, but one aspect of this perfect fit is one’s leadership skills. Since most organizations prefer self starters, they look for someone with the skills to lead projects from scratch. Due to the changing market forces and demands, most organizations are moving towards a lean structure. This means that you may not have 10-12 people above you to guide you on every step. This also means that you will have to lead your own way. In such a situation, displaying your leadership skills can help breed confidence in hiring managers about your suitability for the role.

Invariably, there is no recipe on how to display your leadership skills the best. However, talking about your leadership positions in the past might be a good start. Also, you can talk about the skills you possess that would make you a true leader. Displaying leadership skills will help you earn brownie points from the hiring managers.

Brainstorming over Q&A

Finally, for hiring managers, a simple question and answer round can be too monotonous at times. It becomes a script where they put forward questions that you answer in the same tone as 100 others competing with you. Therefore, you should try to engage in brainstorming, if the hiring manager is up for it. Formulate your answers in a way to showcase that you have taken the effort to understand the requirements and have robust solutions to offer.

Brainstorm with them instead of simply answering. This will highlight not only your enthusiasm, but also your level of involvement and give you a competitive edge over others.

Hiring Managers’ Point of View

At Recro, we have been actively involved in helping high potential candidates get connected with the top hiring managers seeking new recruits. Based on the experience we bring to the table, we can safely say that these new age hiring managers are above all, looking for authentic individuals who come with a sense of commitment. If you can capture this in your next interview, your work is half done. We are constantly connecting the top talent to top organizations. Write to us in case you are looking for a role in seed to unicorn startups!


At Recro we combine Design Thinking, Lean and Agile to help you achieve market-leading  performance.

We partner with our clients with the aim to transform their business challenges into growth opportunities.