The candidate sits in front of you. As a potential peer, direct report or member of your team, does the candidate possess the technical  and interpersonal skills required to make you successful?

Prepare open ended questions to use as an opportunity to listen and discover. Avoid monopolizing the conversation.

Hiring manager questions generally fall into three categories:

1) Does the candidate have the skills to do the job?

2) Can the candidate do what it takes to succeed in the position?

3) Is the candidate manageable?

Learn to read between the lines.



Your goal from an in-person interview is the job offer.

Think of your interview as a sales call. The product you are selling is you.

  • Know your strengths. Prior to the interview have talking points in mind.
  • Know in advance why your skills and background make you the best fit for the position.
  • Be prepared with examples of successful projects and happy clients.
  • Practice succinctly saying how you can best contribute to the project, the department, and the company.
  • Know how your skills can make your managers successful.

Some say that you are interviewing a company as much as the company is interviewing you. It’s only when you have a solid offer in hand that there is a decision to make.



Solid candidates receive multiple offers. Does your company pay market scale to attract and keep the best talent?

To determine if your company pays current market rates:

  • Ask recruiters the right compensation for position.
  • Research on-line salary surveys to determine pay rates for the skill sets you require.
  • Talk to peer managers in other companies.
  • View a number of candidate resumes to see available skill sets and the going rate required by talent in your geographic area.

If your department is not in a position to compensate at market value, do consider candidates you can train. Hire on potential and personality fit rather than disqualifying for lack of technical skills.

Are key members jumping your team for better pay?

  • Consider an equity compensation valuation of your department to ensure all members are paid at market value.
  • If additional compensation is not in your budget, consider inexpensive incentives to reward valued members.

Adequate compensation is an important part of feeling valued in an organization.


You’re looking for a new full-time or consulting position.

How do you determine your market value?

  • Talk to associates.
  • Ask recruiters.
  • Research on-line positions to gauge pay.
  • Read on-line surveys and job data.
  • If possible, find out what a position pays up front. How does your required compensation fit into grade ranges and equity levels of the company in which you are interviewing?
  • Considering out of area positions? Run cost-of-living differentials to see how your current income compares to the new area.
  • Consider taking a lateral or lower income to learn new skills or to move into a company you strongly desire.

Salary can be a key weeding element. Do cooperate and disclose your current and desired compensation to recruiters and hiring managers.

If the position does not meet your salary requirements, then the position is probably not right for you.



First impressions are formed the moment you meet a job applicant.  The moment a recruiter or hiring manager meets a candidate they often know if the person is right for the position.

Candidates can be nervous when meeting a potential employer for the first time. A great deal can be riding on their interview with you.

Things to consider:

  • Is the candidate’s body language open?  Are his or her arms crossed?
  • Does the candidate maintain eye contact?
  • Does the candidate look comfortable in your environment?
  • Does the candidate invade your personal space by putting a purse, brief case, or other object on your desk?
  • Will the candidate’s attire be appropriate for the role?


Are you open to the guest in your office?

  • Are your chairs of equal height?
  • Are you at a circular table where status becomes minimized?
  • Does your desk have computer devices, a drinking glass, files, or other office objects that subconsciously block the energy between you and the person across from you?

To find more information on body language, see Web Sites related to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).



First impressions immediately impact how you are perceived.


  • How do you carry yourself?  Is your posture straight?
  • Is your handshake firm?
  • Are you smiling?
  • Do you make immediate eye contact and maintain a steady gaze?
  • Is your body language open?  Are you approachable?
  • Do you wait to be offered a seat before sitting?
  • Tuck your bag or briefcase under your seat.
  • Always have a notebook and pen ready to take notes, even if you don’t them.
  • No rubbing your face. This can convey doubt.
  • Mimic the body language of the person across from you.

If you look nervous, everyone will feel uncomfortable.

A note to our male friends:  Be particularly cautious when interviewing with women.

  • Watch your speech patterns.
  • Could you be perceived as condescending?
  • “Babe, honey, sweetie, or darling” are never appropriate in a professional enviroment.
  • Are you looking at the wrong body parts?
  • Could you be disqualified for having the “creep” factor? (This happens more often than you would know!)


Your goal is to inspire confidence that you are the right person for the job.  Be approachable, straight forward, and 100 percent honest.  Be authentic.  Be yourself.







Whether you are in a Fortune 500 company or start-up business, how you treat a candidate during an interview is a direct reflection on your firm.

Candidates put a great deal of time and emotional energy into preparing to meet you.

When preparing to meet a candidate:

  • Is your office clean?
  • Will you be on time?
  • Will you know the job requirements?
  • Are all who are involved with the interview process available?
  • Will the candidate have multiple interviews at your facility?

The Golden Rule still applies.  Treat others as you would like to be treated when you interview.


You’ve had a phone interview and now you’re invited to interview in person with the hiring manager and company.  Prepare as much as possible beforehand.

If you can, ask the recruiter or human resources manager to prepare you regarding the process and expectations of the hiring manager.

Read books on interviewing. Have in mind answers to frequently asked questions.

Use search engines to research as much as you can regarding both the company AND the hiring managers.

Map the location. Make sure you know where to park. Have change for parking meters.

Vibrant first impressions count.


  • Tailored outfits show status in business. The darker your suit, the more powerful you will feel.
  • Make sure your shoes are polished and heels are appropriate.
  • Cover tattoos and body piercing.
  • Do wear deodorant and pass on the perfume.

Preparation is the key to success.



Thank you notes are a great way for someone to appreciate the value of your time.

You can read a great deal into a hand-written or emailed thank you note:

  • How are the candidates written communication skills?
  • Does the note express interest in the position?
  • Does the candidate re-articulate the value he/she brings to you and your firm?

Candidates who write thank you notes make an extra effort and stand-out.


Candidates who write thank you notes have a second opportunity to make a lasting impression.

It’s quicker to send a thank you note by email; however it does set you apart to mail a note.

Thank you notes should be personalized to everyone you have met at the firm. Be sure to check your spelling. Have a second set of eyes review for content and grammar.

Thank you notes give you the opportunity to:

  • Remind the interviewer of your capabilities
  • BRIEFLY restate why you are qualified for the position
  • Express interest in working with both the hiring manager and the company.


Set yourself apart. Write a thank you note!