In the exciting and dynamic world of the job market, it’s always difficult enough without sabotaging yourself. You need to know what the “business suits” want from today’s job candidates. A well-written CV or resume can get your foot in the door. But don’t let that door slam on you because you’re not prepared for the interview process. Did you know that face-to-face interviews are not the only part of the hiring process? Technology provides employers with the ability to learn more about you than you may think.

What Do Hiring Managers Want?

Detailing your complete education history will get your CV or resume noticed, but you still need to explain to the manager what you can do with your education and experience. The Interview Prep Cheat Sheet provides insight into what potential employers want. While the right degrees, majors, or significant experience are important, employers look at other values as well.

Confidence is a major factor in getting the position. Tell the interviewer about your past achievements and what you have to offer that can benefit the company. Explain to them how well you deal with changes – let them know that they can count on you to handle decision-making and uncertainty on projects.

Show the manager that you have more than one skill set and that you have a great deal to offer. For example, you might be a business major/business degree holder and have additional education in philosophy or psychology. Let the employer know how you combine education and experiences to meet more than just one need.

What To Do And What To Avoid:

Ensure that you know what your CV or resume says about you. Hiring managers are usually overwhelmed with candidates and don’t fully absorb the details of your background. The interviewer may have only glanced at your CV or resume, so be prepared to address all questions. Have an extra copy of your resume in case yours gets lost in a pile of paperwork because you will have a lot to explain.

Be prepared for unusual or surprise questions. You don’t always have to know the correct answer, but the interviewer may just want to see how you handle the unexpected and how quickly you react.

A favourite question in interviews is asking about your weaknesses or faults, and it’s important that you don’t come across as perfect. Your interviewer will not believe you, so it’s crucial to portray yourself as a normal person. You also don’t want to come up with something irrelevant. Before your interview, think about mistakes you have made and the steps you took to fix them.

Remember to show interest in the position and the employer. Take a few minutes to find out what the company is all about and prepare some questions. The interview is not the time to ask about potential benefits; this is the time to show the interviewer that you are sincere in wanting the position. Ask about the latest in new technology or about a successful advertising campaign.

Behind The Interview Scene:

What happens before or after an interview can make the difference in whether or not you will be considered for the desired position. Social networks like Facebook may be a great place to chat with friends or let off steam. Unfortunately, what you post on the Internet stays there and is available for potential employers to see.

A study commissioned by CareerBuilder has shown that up to 37 percent (cited in of employers screen candidates through social networking sites. Resist the urge to tell your friends on Facebook how much you hate your current employer. Keep your personal life out of public view; your potential new employer doesn’t want to know what you look like in a bikini or how much you drank last night. While legal debates over these practices continue, you can protect yourself in the meantime.

The most important thing to keep in mind about hiring is that there are many candidates who are trying for the same position, and it is important to stay ahead of the competition. With these tips, you may not be guaranteed a position, but you may just be that much closer to getting the job you’ve wanted for so long.

Thanks to journalist Michael Sturman for this article.