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The Hiring Hot Button: What will REALLY get you Hired

The Hiring Hot Button: What will REALLY get you Hired
You’re headed for an executive level interview. You’ve read the job description, understand the job requirements, prepared and rehearsed your stories to show how you can do this job, and…. you aren’t seeing any response from the Hiring Manager. No emotion, no excitement. Why? The job description doesn’t always tell the whole story about what the employer really wants. Even our Performance-Based Position Profiles, which show the key SMART objectives, may occasionally miss on this one key thing.

So, what does that employer want? What is that one key thing?


The most pressing problem may not be shown in the job description. It may not be in the performance objectives. Maybe it just became a problem this week! Maybe it has never been articulated. The good news is that the savvy job candidate CAN find out what the Hiring Manager’s Hiring Hot Button is, just by asking the right questions at the right time.

The right time in the interview is after the Hiring Manager says “What questions do you have for me?” You ask your substantive questions first – the questions that clarify the job, direction of the company, etc. Employers actually appreciate it when you can ask real questions like this. Then, you ask questions that are meant to detect what is personally meaningful about this hire, to this particular prospective boss.

The right questions sound like this:

“How does your professional life get better when you’ve made the right hire for this position?”

“What will improve for you personally when the right person is in this job?”

“What is keeping you up at night, and how will that be resolved once the right person is on board?”

These are all similar, and will detect this person’s Hiring Hot Button – that one special thing, that, if you can solve it, you will get the job. Sometimes it is more than one thing, so repeat this process and ask “what else” to double check for more issues.

If you have good rapport, the Hiring Manager’s shoulders will drop a bit, he or she will take a deep breath, relax, and respond with the most meaningful piece of information yet exchanged in the interview – what they REALLY need this person to do. You can then respond with how specifically you have solved similar issues in the past. If your answer is good, when you leave, the Hiring Manager will be thinking this about you: “Wow, He/She gets it!” You proactively make that happen by getting at this core issue. You have discovered how to be the solution, dramatically increasing your chances of winning this job.

For employers, imagine if you looked at the interview this way from the start. Imagine if you disclosed to each candidate right at the beginning the most important thing(s) you needed done, and then let each candidate show you how they could solve your most important problems! Wouldn’t that be the best criteria by which to hire someone?