Woman interviewing a man and looking cynical

Secrets of hiring managers

Elizabeth Bromstein|

We all think that our skills and qualifications matter when it comes to getting the job, and they do. But they’re not the only things that hiring managers consider. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes during the hiring process. Hiring managers have secrets. Here are a few that they have confessed to us.

Just between you, me and the lamppost…

“I want a diverse workplace with different religions and different ethnicity. I don’t like to hire white men.

“I look at your address and if you live in the suburbs I’m not hiring you. I want a team that can stay late, arrive early and go out for drinks after work, so if you have to leave to make a two-hour commute, that isn’t going to work for me. I also prefer that you don’t have kids, so if you bring up your family that’s another strike.”

I am not necessarily considering hiring you when I interview you. Sometimes I already have chosen who I’m going to hire but I have to go through the motions of the interview anyway to make HR happy, so really I’m just wasting your time.”

I know way more about you than you know by the time you walk in for the interview. I have looked at all your social media, and asked about you to everyone I know.”

I only look at about 10% of the resumes I get. There are sometimes hundreds. It would be impossible to go through them all. Once I find 10 or so that could be a fit, the rest of the emails don’t even get opened.”

I judge you on your taste in music when I creep your social media.”

And here are three more we found on Forbes.com:

“I leave pictures of kids on my desk. They’re not even my kids.” Legally, hiring managers aren’t allowed to ask if you have kids, so this person told Forbes that she leaves pictures of her niece and nephew to find out who has children. She said, “I’m not allowed to ask about family situations, but if they bring it up, it’s fair game. Kids are a distraction to this job, which requires long hours and weekends. I won’t hire someone who has other priorities.”

“I check for wedding bands.” Since the job is entry level, most candidates are young, so a wedding band means the person might be starting a family soon. This person explained, “If I hire her and she goes on maternity leave, I can’t legally fire her, but I still have to find someone else to replace her while she’s gone. When she comes back I can’t fire her either, so now I’m stuck with two employees when all I needed was one. No thanks.”

“That hot guy you added on Facebook last week? Yeah, that was me.” If someone is smart enough to have good privacy settings, you can’t see their profile and posts. So, this manager pastes a – presumably fake – profile and poses as a friend.

“I’ll add several of her friends, so we have several friends in common, and then I’ll add her,” they told Forbes. “I now have access to her profile, wall posts, status updates and even those photos from her trip to Cancun she thought were private.”

That’s why I never add anyone I haven’t actually met in person. Scary!

Er…not that I have anything to hide.


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