By Alison Doyle
Updated January 18, 2018
As a job candidate, it can be very helpful to consider just how employers make hiring decisions as you plan your strategy. Employers will draw up a job description early in the process which will incorporate the required and preferred qualifications which they are seeking.
How Does an Employer Decide Which Applicant to Hire?
How does an employer decide who to hire? It starts with determining who would be a good candidate for the job.
Typically a prospective supervisor will work with a Human Resources professional to make sure both departmental and organizational perspectives and requirements are represented in this document.
In some cases, the hiring manager will arrange a screening committee to review applications, and interview and evaluate candidates. The hiring manager will usually hold a meeting to review the ideal candidate profile and to charge the committee.
Each member of the screening committee will have their own preferences for qualifications and qualities of the candidate, given how they intersect with the position. You should find out the composition of the committee, if possible, before your interview and try to anticipate their vested interest in the job.
Once interviews are completed, most employers will seek input from all parties who have encountered candidates during the interview process.
Keep in mind that even seemingly lower level employees like administrative assistants who greeted you and set up your interview day may be asked for their impressions. Treat everyone respectfully and be your best professional self at all times, including informal lunches or dinners with prospective colleagues.
Of course, it is hard to anticipate what each employer will be looking for as they make final decisions about candidates, but it is useful to consider some common factors.