While browsing the job websites today, I came across an excellent article on Yahoo! that discussed some of the hidden tricks that hiring managers employ during interviews.
After all, it's not just the answers from job applicants that are scrutinized in an interview - other external factors are also being judged. For example, mannerisms, demeanour, and personality are also considered by hiring managers during and after the interview.
I recommend reading the article because it identifies a few of the offbeat hiring tricks that interviewers use. And while you might think they are more applicable to those looking for full-time "career-type" jobs, they are quite common in many of the industries that students and youth gravitate towards.
For example, the article notes that more and more hiring managers are inspecting the vehicle of potential applicants. Now, they don't outright ask to inspect your car - instead, they send a colleague or secretary to inspect an applicant's car from the outside.
And just think about how much someone can learn by looking at and inside someone's car. Consider what a clean or dirty car says about a person. Or what a questionable or objectionable bumper sticker implies.
But let's say the applicant doesn't drive - well then, hiring managers will employ another commonly-used trick ... watching potential applicants while they wait for the interview to begin.
This is another great way to find out personality traits of potential applicants. For example, does the applicant listen to their music loudly and read a gossip magazine or do they sit quietly and review their resume? Or, if the interview is taking place in a store, do they walk around looking for a new outfit to buy or are they looking at the store's marketing, branding, positioning and visual merchandising cues?
Of course, sometimes you only wait for a minute or two, so this trick goes out the window. But another often-used trick, especially in the gossip-filled retail sector, is to try and lure potential applicants into the gossip trap.
But what is a gossip trap?
Well essentially, the hiring manager makes a disparaging remark about someone on staff, typically another person who was part of the interviewing process, and then proceeds to ask a potential applicant what they think and whether or not they agree with the remark. The comment may or may not be true, but the hiring manager is looking to see how potential applicants handle gossip and what their level of professionalism is.
The best way to handle this is to ignore the remark or refuse to discuss it - and in 99.9% of instances, the hiring manager will immediate change the topic as you've passed the gossip test. And trust me, this trick is used both by stores and restaurants of all sizes - from the small mom & pop outlet to large multinational chains!
In sum, definitely check out the article on Yahoo! - you'll be glad you did and you'll probably see a few of the tricks that hiring mangers have tried on you.
And remember that in today's job market, it's not just what you say that determines if you get a job, it's also how you say it and how you present yourself!