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How to Talk to a Manager to Get a Job

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The ability to build rapport and frame a conversation frequently leads to getting your foot in the door when looking for a new career opportunity. In today’s competitive recruitment environment, you vie with dozens of candidates, some of whom could have more experience related to the job. Don't allow that to derail you from taking advantage of your opportunity to speak with the hiring manager. That is your best chance to set yourself above the rest of the crowd.


Form a professional network by talking to friends and business acquaintances about your goals. That can lead to identifying job opportunities and meeting the hiring manager. The preliminary data in a recent “Source of Hire” survey conducted by show that 44 percent of new employees found the job through networking, followed by 28 percent due to a job posting, 16 percent recruitment efforts, and 12 percent due to an internal move. These statistics show that a shared connection establishes the commonality that endears you to the manager.


Building rapport begins with having the ability to make a good first impression. An interview, by nature, embodies a very subjective experience. David Creelman and Robert B. Kaiser stated in an article they co-wrote, "When one person’s work is dependent on that of other people or when a group of people with varying knowledge, skills, and expertise is needed, team fit can be a critical factor. The hiring manager’s goal when meeting with candidates is to substantiate the resumes and consider how well the applicant would fit with the team.


Read through the job description in its entirety. This will help you to anticipate many of the possible questions during the interview and better prepare you to discuss how your previous experience relates. Present experience in a fashion that shows the hiring manager that you can perform the basic functions of the position. Prepare to discuss your ability to learn new concepts and put them into practice, demonstrating that you can easily be trained.

Doing Your Homework

Research the company prior to the interview. Hiring managers want to know why you want to work with them over other employers. Review the company's website or talk to family, friends or professional contacts who work there to gain insight. This should provide substantial information about the company's values, business practices and achievements. This prepares you to explain parallels between the company’s values and direction, and your own. As stated by Alexander Graham Bell, “Preparation is the key to success," and with the proper preparation, you can inspire confidence during any conversation with a hiring manager.

Knowing Your Audience

Awareness of your intended audience and approaching them in an appropriate manner remains a necessary skill to develop when interviewing. Candidates often find themselves in difficult situations because they fail to consider how the hiring manager would react to a message. Make sure that that the way you act, and the information you decide to share during an interview, only will help you get hired. Hiring managers start the process believing you represent a strong candidate, considering that they have asked you in for an interview with the goal of getting to know you better.

Participating Actively

Active participation in the interview process creates an opportunity to demonstrate your passion and to connect with the manager. Come prepared with some thoughtful questions that underscore your understanding of the position and highlight your enthusiasm for the type of work. Throughout the process, you should reflect genuine interest, honesty in your experience and politeness to everyone you come in contact with, as well as let your personality shine through.


Writer Matthew Salamone, a human resource executive, has more than 15 years of industry experience to his credit. In his current post, he drives the recruitment, training, and health and wellness initiatives for 2,000 employees across the U.S. He holds an MBA and master’s in human resource management.

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