Top 5 Things the Hiring Managers Don’t Tell You About Interviewing

When you get an invite to an interview, most likely you have already been vetted for the required skills and abilities you need and guess what… You passed the test!

You have been invited for a second interview… congratulations!

Now what?

The interviews that follow will likely be to further narrow the focus.  It is critical you present the best version of yourself you can and listen to what they are not telling you.  That’s right.  Listen to the things the hiring manager is not saying.  Often times, you can make educated guesses on what may or may not be going on in an office or team environment.  If you work on listening more than you speak, you will likely get some golden nuggets of insight without even asking!


Here’s the top 5 interview best kept secrets employers and hiring managers won’t tell you (but it would be really helpful for you to know so we are telling you)



  1. Hiring Manager: “The team has issues.”

Interviews not only weigh your qualifications, they also evaluate your culture fit into the company and team. While it is absolutely ok to ask about the challenges in the workplace, don’t be surprised if the hiring manager leaves some of the bigger pieces out and they likely won’t give specifics.  They want you to want the role, after all.

So, what can you do in this situation… listen closely and read between the lines of their responses.  Sometimes you can be so eager about the job that you miss the little red flags that pop up.

You can also ask very specific questions to help you evaluate, like asking about “the hiring manager’s style of management.”  Or if in doing some research about the company, you came across reviews that discuss difficulties with the team culture, you can ask “how the team goes about solving problems.”


  1. Hiring Manager: “I want to give you the job, so whatever you do, don’t change my mind in the interview.”

The whole hiring process takes time… valuable time.  Each time they have to go through hiring or rehiring someone, it’s a cost to the company.

When they bring you in for an interview, especially an in-person one, they generally feel that you have all the education, background experience and necessary skills to do the job.  They are likely just comparing you with a small number of other candidates they feel similarly about.  At this point, they are usually looking to signs for them to eliminate job seekers down to one.  Its your job in this situation to not change their minds about you.


  1. Hiring Manager: “I can take my time in this process, but you can’t.”

While time is money in hiring, hiring managers sometimes (for a variety of often unforeseen reasons) will take their time in getting back to you.  However, this does not mean you as the interested candidate have the same luxury.  If they ask you to send them a reference or documentation of your licensure the next day, send it to them the next day.  Candidates need to be true to their word and consistent.  Waiting too long to respond to a job offer is also a big red flag for them.  Offers do get withdrawn over this.  I’ve seen it happen.  Job offers do have expiration dates.


  1. Hiring Manager: “You have potential but you might not be our first choice.”

Here’s how you handle this one… You can absolutely ask “how many other candidates are being considered” but there is a better way to go about getting the information you are looking for without being so direct.  Instead, ask them “what qualities have you (hiring manager) not seen in me yet that would make me the ideal candidate for the role?”

I know I’m always impressed when someone asks me this!  It shows you are not only interested in the opportunity, you want to be the BEST ONE for the job!  Love it!


  1. Hiring Manager: “Yes, employees do leave and we have turnover.”

This one is all about doing your own research.  Look at websites like, or

These sites are excellent at giving you some honest and real advise and reviews from past and current employees.  You can also get salary info, find out more about the tangible or intangible perks they offer, etc.

Some folks just flat out ask, “what is your employee turnover rate” but they are not likely to get an exactly number response.  In all my years of recruiting, I’ve never seen it happen that way.  Sometimes they will give you some data, but be aware it could be tailored to improve appearances.