Dear Matt: I'd like to get inside the mind of a hiring manager: What are they thinking or expecting when they post a job ad, interview or hire someone?

Matt: I think they are trying to get inside the mind of the job seeker they are interviewing. In reality, that's what it is. If you made it to the interview, they've seen your resume and feel you have related skills that could fill/fit the job you are interviewing you for. Now they want to know if you truly do have the skills you say you do, can communicate that clearly and if so, will your personality and style be a fit for their corporate culture?

"Culture fit is very important," says Alissa Henriksen, co-president/owner of Cor Talent (, a Twin Cities-based employment consulting firm. "That means do you give the recruiter the impression your values, personality, pace and the obvious - previous experience - relates to job with XYZ company?"

Seems simple, but it's not as easy as it sounds - we all know that. Here is what a recruiter is thinking from the moment they post a job opening all the way up until they making a hire, says Julie McDonald, Director of HR for space150 (, a Minneapolis-based digital agency.

We initially expect a job candidate to follow what we have asked them for. If we say in the ad to put in your salary requirements and you do not include it, we cut the candidate out of the process because you did not follow the first instruction.

We expect that you show up on time or only a few minutes early. Showing up 20 minutes early or late is not a good sign of time management.

During the interview we are looking not only for skill fit, but culture fit. Can you carry a conversation, did you do your research about the company or even about the hiring manager themselves? "Many times a hiring manager will be very impressed if you have looked up not only the background of the company, but of the person you are interviewing with," says McDonald. "It shows you are interested and excited about the job."

After the interview make sure you conduct your follow up as they asked you to. Follow up, but don't call or email every day until you hear from them.

And no, you don't need to send gifts or cookies. Those tricks don't work, says McDonald.

Most of all, be the person you will be everyday if the company hires you. No gimmicks.

"Be professional, keep your promises and be yourself in the interview," says McDonald.

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- Matt Krumrie
Twin Cities freelance writer specializing in career advice