By Christopher Tkaczyk
January 16, 2014

We spoke with the top hiring managers of the 100 Best Companies to Work For to find out what they’re looking for, how to impress them, and how to get hired.

1. Microsoft

Courtesy: microsoft

2014 Best Companies rank: 86
Current openings: 500+
Jobs page:

“The one page resume is a myth. Save the ambiguous objective statement for your cover letter. Instead write a hard-hitting summary with bullets that highlight key attributes, wins, skills, certifications and metrics. Show us you have the attention to detail required to be successful in a complex and demanding environment. Make a solid case for why we should drop everything and call you right now. –Kevin Lambsack, staffing consultant

2. Genentech

Courtesy: Genentech

2014 Best Companies rank: 6
Current openings: 866
Jobs page:

“A candidate who can demonstrate smart risk-taking regardless of the outcome often provides us with valuable insight into their ability to thrive here.” –Amanda Valentino, director of corporate staffing


Courtesy: salesforce

2014 Best Companies rank: 7
Current openings: 835
Jobs page:


“Always be yourself — our ‘more human, less corporate’ culture is a big part of who we are, and we want to get to know the real you,” says Ana Recio, VP, global recruiting.

4. Robert W. Baird & Co.

Courtesy: robert w. baird

2014 Best Companies rank: 9
Current openings: 60
Jobs page:


“We consider the interview process a two-way street — not only are we interviewing candidates, but they are also interviewing us.” –Leslie Dixon, chief human capital officer

5. Burns & McDonnell

Courtesy: Burns McDonnell

2014 Best Companies rank: 14
Current openings: 600
Jobs page:

“Don’t dread the ‘what is your weakness’ question. What we are really asking our candidates is to highlight lessons learned. We recognize that past experience is invaluable for complex decision-making. Be able to describe what you’ve learned from past experiences and how you use those lessons to be better at your job today. –Stacy Venator, recruiter

6. CHG Healthcare Services

Courtesy: CHG

2014 Best Companies rank: 16
Current openings: 64
Jobs page:

“What impresses me most is when a candidate shows true passion and conviction in their answers instead of telling me what I want to hear.” –Chad Austin, senior talent acquisition specialist

7. Ultimate Software

Courtesy: ultimate software

2014 Best Companies rank: 20
Current openings: 300
Jobs page:

“The secret is simple. Prove that you are the best of the best at what you do. Our recruiters like to see tangible indicators of success like goals achieved, regular promotions, versatility in skill sets, and awards or recognition earned.” –Greg Miller, director of engineering talent acquisition

8. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Courtesy: kimpton hotels

2014 Best Companies rank: 21
Current openings: 164
Jobs page:

“We want to get to know the candidate as a person, not just as a set of technical skills. Great candidates are the ones that come in prepared to engage us in conversation, ask us great questions, and are authentic. We have extensive training for employees to learn technical skills, but we cannot teach people to provide genuine heartfelt care to others. –Stephanie Troxel, director, diversity & recruitment

9. The Container Store

Courtesy: The container store

2014 Best Companies rank: 28
Current openings: 270
Jobs page:

“I’m always impressed by candidates who have taken the time to visit one of our stores during the interview process — and who have visited our What We Stand For blog to understand more about our culture and leadership style. That kind of curiosity and attention to detail is a great fit for our company.” –Eva Gordon, VP of stores, training, development, and recruiting

10. Qualcomm

Courtesy: qualcomm

2014 Best Companies rank: 32
Current openings: 400
Jobs page:

“Ask questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company in a unique way. Go beyond just the research that can be found on a company’s website and make yourself sound like someone who has already been working there for 10 years, chatting with a colleague. Reach out to your LinkedIn connections before the interview as a way to further your insight.” –Courtney Phillips, staffing specialist

11. WellStar Health System


2014 Best Companies rank: 39
Current openings: 890
Jobs page:

“Follow up with a handwritten note after the interview to the recruiter and also to the hiring manager. This act of gratitude helps candidates stand out in a very positive way.” –Megan Groover, director of talent acquisition


Courtesy: Zappos

2014 Best Companies rank: 38
Current openings: 130
Jobs page:

“We are looking for people who aren’t afraid to be themselves, don’t take themselves too seriously, and are constantly looking to improve both personally and professionally. While most companies don’t pay much regard to cover letters, we love them! Make sure to personalize it. If you’re really brave, submit a video cover letter to make your candidacy really stand out.” –Mike Bailen, recruiting manager 

13. Umpqua Bank

Courtesy: Umpqua

2014 Best Companies rank: 71
Current openings: 77
Jobs page:

“Our recruiters have learned that it’s not what a candidate says but how they say it. Is there a passion that shows through when sharing a story, whether an example of professional success or an experience that stands out as a customer? When that comes through in an interview, it’s a powerful indicator that we’ve found someone who will inherently understand our culture and get excited about our absolute focus on serving our customers at the highest possible level.” –Barbara Baker, EVP of cultural enhancement 

14. General Mills

Courtesy: general mills

2014 Best Companies rank: 64
Current openings: 80
Jobs page:

“Be genuine, be real and authentic, have passion for the role and organization, bring your true self to the interviews and interview us just as much as we are interviewing you.” –Jennifer Peterson, a senior recruiting manager 

15. Kiewit

Courtesy: kiewit

2014 Best Companies rank: 99
Current openings: 966
Jobs page:

“I want candidates to ask tough questions on how they will be challenged and utilized if they were to select this opportunity.” –Maximo Rocha, global head of talent acquisition

16. Mars

Courtesy: mars

2014 Best Companies rank: 76
Current openings: 200
Jobs page:

“It’s about being passionate for a rewarding career, not just a job. [We look for] people who can take full accountability of their own development and the development of others.” –Kelly Bartkiewicz, HR senior manager, talent management 

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