Hiring Managers

3 Questions All Hiring Managers Ask Themselves About You


A well known career coach once said, “A resume is a necessary evil.” Some HR folks will cringe at that statement, despite its truth. So, I’d like to take a moment and analyze exactly why that statement is some of the best job seeking advice you could get.

After all, too many job seekers spend all their time polishing off a resume to submit in an application process. Now, there are essentially three questions all hiring managers need to have answered before they can make a decision about hiring you or not. They are:

  1. Do I like you?
  2. What motivates you?
  3. Can you do the job?

The first two questions are personality questions. The last one is a commodity question. Think about it, almost everyone else going for that job can push the button too.

FACT: Personality Beats Commodity EVERY Time

Considering how competitive the job market is, you have to assume there is someone more qualified, more educated and more experienced than you.

People make emotional decisions – and HR folks aren’t any different. Think about the last buying decision you made. Perhaps you were looking for a new breakfast cereal at the market. You look at the colors on the packaging. You notice if it lowers your cholesterol or if it has enough sweetness. You find something you like about it and it makes you feel good. So, you buy it.

The same mental process goes through the mind of your hiring manager.

Personality Question #1: Do I Like You?

Can this manager work next to you, as cube-neighbors, for 8-hours a day, five days a week? If there isn’t a spark, a chemistry, either before or during the interview, you can count yourself out.

There really isn’t much else for people to go on. Every other applicant says, “I’m the perfect fit,” and they have a resume to back it up. But in the end of the day, the only thing they really have to go on is if they like you or not.

And the best way to get someone to like you is to express YOU. Genuinely. Quickly. Strategically.

Social medium allows this to happen. When you get Googled, (yes, “when”), will what they find answer the question of your personality and brand? Or are you allowing Google to determine your online reputation? When they read your LinkedIn profile summary, do they get a sense of who you are. Your story?

“Do I like you?” is by far THE most important question you can answer for a hiring manager, and the sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.

Take some time to really figure out what your brand is and how that relates to the needs of your potential companies. I recommend reading Chris Brogan’s FREE e-book on personal branding and following his advice before re-writing your LinkedIn profile.

Personality Question #2: What Motivates You?

The proverbial risk mitigation question. A hiring managers biggest risk is hiring the wrong person. And “wrong” means someone who is not what they appear to be on paper. They lose their drive. They are lazy. They cost the company thousands of dollars.

But, if you are motivated, you are the right person. You are consistent over time. You read about your industry on the weekends. You stay up to date with joy and passion. In short, you are reliable, and you have a low hiring risk.

Answer the question of your motivation, and double your chances of getting hired. Seriously. Just ask a hiring manager!

And one of the best ways of communicating you are motivated and what motivates you is to have a blog.

Yep. Even the most simplest blog, filled with articles about your perspective, your ideas, your reviews. The sooner you can get your blog up and running the better. There are several good courses on how to get a blog out there.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Joshua Waldman

Author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, Joshua is recognized as the authority for helping people find work using social media. His blog, Careerenlightenment.com, won the 2013 About.com Reader's Choice award for best career blog for original content.


  1. The no. 1 question in the article can strikeunfairness big as sadly it is noticed clearly how there are some people who are truly genuine with warmth, proactive and positive on the web and clearly act positive to others, but for no reason the other party cannot see the good or actibg discriminatory or unreasonable towards them?

  2. The problem I see today is the on line application. I miss the one on one interviews with a person that can judge you for what you are and not what you say you are.

    • You are SO correct! Selecting prospective candidates online is so flawed. Of course it’s a great way to weed out certain applicants that have no business applying for a job, but the person that may not fit the qualifications to a “T” may be the best person for the position; something the employer cannot find out without personal meetings.

  3. “There are several good courses on how to get a blog out there.”

    And… You’re too lazy/bored/apathetic/distracted to provide even ONE link??!? Granted, anyone that is genuinely professional won’t *need* the help – but DEAR GOD, this just *reeks* of sloppy, “mail-it-in” effort…

  4. First question by each member of the hiring team is how soon will you achieve results that make him/her look good to his/her bosses and associates for hiring you.

  5. And what if you didn’t find a job you are passionate about yet and you are still looking for it? You have no experience in what you think you want to do though. I imagine there are many people who had a job but no paricular interest in it.

  6. Sam. If an employer contacts you, it is because you have the skills and/or experience to do the job. The truth is the company decided to eliminate the department for operational purposes. Focus on you did for the company and what you have to offer.

  7. Good morning, I have a question. If a person is dismissed from a job in a field where most of their experience lies for something that was made up ( i. e. Misappropriation of funds) even if the person is not at fault, what should that person say when asked why they are no longer there?

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