25 Things Your Interviewer is Thinking During Your Interview

Young man at a job interview

This may come as a shock to some of you, but HR Managers are human beings. Yes, it’s true! They aren’t divine beings who magically know which applicant is “the one”. Deciding whether you’re right for a job requires them to find out who you are apart from your résumé. They do this by analyzing your appearance, your responses, your gestures, your body language. It’s fascinating. And even a little boring, especially after the ninth candidate of the day. Here are some of the very revealing thoughts the person sitting across from you might be having during your interview:

  1. Do I like you? Enough to consider hiring you even though you came to this interview wearing clogs? Clogs!
  2. Are you prepared for this interview? Have you read up about what our company does, what it stands for?
  3. Do you fully understand what this position entails?
  4. Do you really share our values? Can you live them on a daily basis?
  5. Will you contribute positively to our culture? Or will you be a drag?
  6. Why on earth can’t you stop fiddling with your hair?
  7. Are you “teachable”? Will I be able to manage you?
  8. Will you get along with your bosses, coworkers, customers, and clients? Will the team I have in mind appreciate you – even grouchy Jennifer?
  9. Why are you examining your shoes instead of maintaining eye contact with me?
  10. Do you look and behave as if you belong at our company?
  11. Will you be a good brand ambassador?
  12. What makes you stand out? What unique thing do you bring to the table?
  13. Can I get you to bring your price down by $10,000?
  14. Can I see you as a manager a few years from now?
  15. Are you a high-potential candidate? Can you make a difference here?
  16. Uh-oh, did you really just say that you hated your last boss?
  17. How do you compare to the other candidates that I’ve interviewed for this job? Do I like you more than the two or three other excellent applicants I’ve already put in my “possibles” file?
  18. Have you been totally honest about everything on your résumé?
  19. Because you do realize that I’ve checked out your Facebook and LinkedIn pages, right?
  20. Is that much perfume really necessary?
  21. Are you enthusiastic about working here? Or just desperate for a job, any job?
  22. Are you someone who will make your team look good? Are you someone who will make me look good?
  23. Are you going to ask some questions about the company? And not just about salary and vacation time?
  24. “What are the soft skills you need to successfully perform this job?” GREAT question, bravo! I think I’m going to put your name at the top of my “possibles” list!
  25. Can I sneak in a power nap before the next candidate?

About the author

Sophie Huss is the Global Director of Talent Acquisition & Training at Arkadin HQ in Paris where she heads up the digital recruitment strategy, deploying the new Talent Acquisition organization which is specialized in sourcing candidates and nurturing talent pipelines via a proactive multi-sourcing approach (social media platforms, job boards, referrals, internal mobility). In large part, Sophie’s responsibilities are also to define the company’s Employer Brand that is communicated through a new careers site and supported by strong social media editorial planning & content management. She also coordinates the deployment of new learning & development programs to increase employees’ soft & hard skills. Previously Arkadin’s Global Director of Marketing & Communications, Sophie has more than 25 years of strategic and operational marketing experience across multiple industries in a variety of geographic markets. In her prior role, Sophie was instrumental in the launch of new products & services, notably Arkadin’s suite of Unified Communications & Collaboration offers.

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