#AskAHiringManager: What A Hiring Manager Looks For In Interviews
By: Khadejah Stegall
Khadejah Stegall is a part of the TLC college ambassador program and a recent college graduate of North Carolina A&T State University.
Interviews can be nerve-racking for some, and easy for others who are naturally good at selling themselves. It’s not hard to have an interview go well if you do your homework about the company. TLC talked with the General Manager of American Campus Communities, Brittani Hunter. American Campus Communities is the nation’s largest developer, owner, and manager of high-quality student housing apartment communities. Hunter is a millennial who is killing the workforce at an early age and can give a fresh perspective on succeeding in your interview since she received her first management position at the age of 22. Hunter is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Mogul Millennial, which is an open publishing platform for Black Millennials sharing business news and career advice. Read what this millennial manager had to say about what she looks for when hiring candidates.
Q: Life happens and sometimes people run late. What should you do if you happen to run late for an interview?
A: I actually just wrote an article about this after reflecting on my own experience when I was a job seeker. If you are running late for an interview, you should do the following:
1) Call and email the interviewer and apologize, then let them know that you are running late. In your communication, please be sure to give them an estimated time of arrival so that they have an idea on when they should be expecting you.
2) Always make sure you provide the interviewer with a valid, unavoidable excuse as to why you are late (saying that you overslept is not a valid excuse).
3) As stated in step one, apologize often. You should apologize first when contacting the interviewer to inform them that you’re running late. Then apologize again in person when you meet the interviewer. Lastly, apologize one more time at the end of your interview and thank them for their understanding.
4) Once you finally arrive at the interview, show up and show out! If you have an amazing interview, the hiring managers will probably be able to easily look over your tardiness.
Q: What are some personality/leadership traits you look for in a candidate when conducting an interview?
A: The traits that I look for vary because it depends on the position that I am hiring for. Nonetheless, in every position, I look for someone who has great customer service, is organized, takes initiative and is self-motivated.
Q: What are some common mistakes candidates make in interviews that automatically cancels them out?
A: For me, one of the biggest mistakes that candidates make is not having an answer to the question, “What do you know about our company?”. I’ve never understood why anyone would spend time applying for a job and attending an interview if they knew absolutely nothing about the company they were interviewing with. An interview is not just for the company, it is for you too so you should always take it serious and do as much research as possible. When someone isn’t familiar with the company that they are interviewing with, they appear to be less passionate for the job and unorganized.
Q: What is your idea of a suitable candidate and interview?
A: My idea of a suitable candidate is someone that comes prepared and does his or her research. Also, my idea of a suitable candidate is someone that shows gratitude at the end of his or her interview by following up with a thank you note (believe it or not, but thank you notes are so rare).
Q: Do recruiters really look at your social media?
A: I can’t speak for all recruiters but there are some that do. These recruiters tend to do this when they are unable to get enough information from you during your interview, so they will browse your social media pages to learn more about you.
Q: How important is it to have a good elevator pitch?
A: What you say in your elevator pitch will determine the interviewer's first impression of you. Your elevator pitch will allow you to easily and efficiently convey all your qualities, and for most interviewers, the first few words that come out of your mouth can either make or break the interview.
Q: What's a foolproof interview outfit to ensure you impress but aren't too casual or overdo it?
A: For my men and ladies, a pair of slacks and a button-down shirt/blouse will always be a winning outfit. It’s casual, but not too casual, and for guys, you can always dress it up with a nice tie (skinny ties are my fave). For my ladies, you can dress up the same outfit with a cute statement necklace or a pair of heels.
Khadejah Stegall is a mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating plant-based meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com