Hiring is Like Holiday Gift Shopping

Hiring is Like Holiday Gift Shopping Understand a manager’s point of view by comparing it to the mindset of a holiday shopper.


These questions can help you understand the perspective of a hiring manager during the holiday season (and throughout the year):

1. Where do you shop? If you’re looking for a specific item for a friend, it’s obvious that you want to locate the best place to shop. Do you go online or proceed to the department store?

An employer “shops” too, and will look for that one-of-a-kind employee by hiring a recruiter to find that special candidate. They might look for candidates on Craigslist or look at resumes on job boards. Because of this, you might want to set up your LinkedIn profile — It’s the most-used platform for recruiters looking to fish out potential candidates.

Make sure you can be searched online in the right places. Most employers prefer candidates whose value shines through in their LinkedIn profiles.

2. What about a product makes it the perfect gift? What do you prioritize when buying a gift for someone? Size, color or style? If every feature doesn’t align, how will you take the situation? Will you choose to buy a different item instead?

More often, candidates have many but not all of the employer’s wishlist of skills and experience. Because of this, hiring managers have to figure out which candidates are more qualified to do the job.

Don’t assume that you’ll get the job just because you have most of the skills and experience required. If the employer thinks you are not equipped enough to do the job well, then it might be enough to tip his or her judgment against you.

3. How much do you pay? Of course you’ll be looking at the prices when you’re buying a gift. If you are looking for the best possible value and price, you may want to take your time and discuss or think over your options. If someone asks you about your expectations, you may want to give a range instead of an exact amount.

When an employer has lots of choices, keep in mind that he or she will probably choose candidates that expect lower or starting salaries rather than people who demand a salary that’s higher. Pitch your personal brand to employers before naming your price to nudge the employer’s selection criteria.

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Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are just asking for the same key pieces of information. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.