The 5 Magic Signs Hiring Managers look for during an interview

Beth Price


We all know that interviewing is a skill in itself. Your CV gets you in the door but ultimately it’s the interview where you can demonstrate your ability and really separate yourself from the crowd and stand out. And you prepare accordingly, you research the company, you have a quick look at the Hiring Manager’s profile on LinkedIn, you delve deeper into the role itself and the position description and you do any other homework you feel necessary. But what then?

The interview stage is critical and there are 5 Magic Signs every Hiring Manager looks out for during an interview which I have listed below:

  1. Rapport
  2. Background and skills to do the job
  3. Future growth and development potential
  4. Attitude
  5. Culture Fit

There is no hard and fastened rule on the weight of importance of these 5 signs as together they are greater than the sum of their parts.


The ability to build rapport is really important as it showcases your ability to connect and engage with people on a personal level. This can be everything from simple manners/ greetings with the person who meets you at reception; to the small-talk with the Hiring Manager while you go for a coffee or walk to an interview room; to saying goodbye after the interview. Rapport isn’t about being fake, it’s actually about being real and being true to your personality and breaking down barriers and making a connection with someone. The Hiring Manager will assess your ability to build rapport with him/her because it will be a good indication of your ability to build rapport with both internal and external stakeholders if you get the job.

Background and skills to do the job

It sounds obvious and straightforward but yes the Hiring Manager is looking to assess your background experience and skill set and yes your CV showcases your story on paper but the proof is how you bring your story to life. They want to know if you can do the job day to day and it’s crucial you are able to bring your experience to life with key examples that showcase this but your delivery and ability to talk through is paramount. Your experience is exactly that, it’s your story. Other candidates may have similar backgrounds and skill sets but your story and experience is unique and your ability to bring this to life in your way may be the difference between you getting the job and not.

Future growth and development potential

After the Hiring Manager establishes you have the right skills and the right level of experience to do the job, they will want to know if you are the type of person who will grow and develop in the role. They want to know if you are a future leader or have that potential to be one. This the part of the interview where you need to demonstrate your hunger for continuous learning and examples of how you have shown personal leadership in your past roles. Be it past promotions or taking on additional projects and going above and beyond in your current day to day responsibilities.


Attitude is king. Never underestimate how important attitude is in when you’re in the interview. It is the difference between getting a job and not. When you are competing for a job, it’s likely that you may have the same background and experience as the other candidates going for the job and the deciding factor as to who gets selected can come down to attitude, pure and simple. Your attitude, your outlook, your mindset, the way you see the world and how you deal with setbacks and show positivity, hard work, collaboration and resilience is so so important when a Hiring Manager needs to make a decision.

Culture Fit

The fifth element a Hiring Manager wants to assess is your culture fit and ability to work well in the organisation as a whole and work well in his/her team and get on with other key stakeholders especially if you are spending 40 plus hours a week together! Will you fit in seamlessly or will you rock the boat? It all depends on what he/she is looking for. Similar to building rapport at the beginning and through the interview process, you will have to demonstrate your ability to adapt your communication style to suit certain personalities and have a strong self-awareness to read situations and read between the lines.


If you need more advice on how to land your dream role, get in touch with me anytime