You have a position open on your staff, and now you need to start the interview process.
Love it or hate it, it’s part of being a manager.
So you sit down with the stack of resumes you received. Right off the bat, you weed out the ones that don’t have the qualifications to do the job. Then you ask HR to set up interviews with the folks you’ve earmarked as “potential candidates.”
You know all the right questions to ask. After all, you’ve been doing this for years, you’ve been coached by people who’ve been doing it for years or you’ve read extensively about the process.
And you’re a darn good listener. You can spot the “preplanned” typical bull, like “My biggest weakness is I’m a workaholic who loses track of time and ends up working late almost every night.”
I never buy that one.
So what key phrases do job candidates utter during interviews that tell you this person is YOUR man or woman for the job?
Here are seven examples that should be music to your ears:
1) ‘I’ve looked online and I see your company does XYZ. They are things I’m really interested in because …’
This shows they’ve done their homework, invested time in the interview and really want the job.
Candidates who’ve done research and know what your company does and its purpose, shows interest in the company and allows them to link their skills and ambitions to the company.
For example, I recently had an interview with someone. When I asked her which newsletter piqued her interest the most, out of the 20 newsletters we publish, she couldn’t name one.
It was clear she hadn’t done any research on the company and her interest in the position was just to earn a paycheck.
Sure she may have been nervous, but the interview didn’t get any better after that!
2) ‘I’m a quick study. Show me something once, and I get it.’
Managers don’t want people on their team who are going to suck up a ton of their time, because they have to be shown how to do something over and over again.
You want people who pick things up and process them quickly. It makes your life easier.
Here’s a little secret I’ll share with you: Ask people you interview if they’ve ever been on a debate team. It’s been found that debaters are quick on their feet and process new information easily.
3) ‘I’m resourceful. If I have any problems, I’m very good at finding a solution. For example, …’
All supervisors love resourceful people. Again it saves them time!
See the trend here? Managers want people who save them time, not cost them time.
So even if the job doesn’t have a problem-solving component to it, having someone who is resourceful and takes the initiative to find his or her own solutions and answers is a great find.
Since knowing whether candidates are good problem solvers isn’t easy to deduce in an interview, ask for examples if they don’t offer any.
Ask how they’ve approached and solved issues in the past – professional or personal, it doesn’t matter, as long as the examples relate in some way to the position they’re interviewing for.
4) ‘I’m easy to work with because I can get along with anyone.’
Understand, this doesn’t mean they like everyone, just that they can get along with everyone.
I’ve always said, “I don’t have to like you to work with you.”
Does liking your co-workers make it easier and a more pleasant experience? Sure, but it’s not a requirement.
People who are adaptable and open to other people’s ideas are team players and will help the work process flow smoothly. They don’t create conflict or problems.
They may bring up an opposing point of view or an alternative way of doing something, but it’s done in a way that isn’t disruptive to the process.
5) ‘I do whatever it takes to get the job done and done right. For example, …’
You want people working for you who are committed to doing things right no matter what.
When people are internally motivated to do things to the best of their ability, it allows you to delegate tasks without worry.
You can’t train people to do this, it’s innate. That’s why it’s vital that you hire for it.
6) ‘I’m 100% open to and welcome feedback.’
The old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is False!
Everyone is teachable and if they aren’t, run away from them as fast as you can.
Being teachable means you are open to expanding your horizons personally and professionally.
People who welcome feedback, realize they aren’t right 100% of the time. They’re open to the fact that their peers, or you as their manager, may have a better way of doing something.
They see feedback as a learning experience, not a personal insult. These are the kind of people you want on your team.
7) ‘I’m a loyal and dedicated person.’
Why does this matter to you?
First off, it means if you hire this person they won’t talk crap about you or the company. It means they’ve looked into the company, like what it stands for, and they’re willing to commit their time and energy to its success.
What it doesn’t mean is they’re promising to work for you for the next 10 years. But as long as they are there, you have their loyalty and dedication.
Translated: They’ll be there day in and day out, unless they are truly sick or on vacation, and you can count on them.
Are there any other phrases you zero in on during interviews that tell you this is the person to hire?
If so, please share them in the comments box below.
Free Guide to Weeding Out the Bad Fits
These 10 questions will help you week out problems during the job interview process. This free downloadable cheat sheet is designed to fit on one page, so you can print it out and keep it by your desk.