If you are in the job market, you might be intimidated by some of the job advertisements out there, which often set out long lists of essential skills and training that you need for the role.
However, once you reach the interview stage of the hiring process, employers are most likely on the lookout for qualities that were never mentioned in the listing of the job. These are the kind of attributes that you can’t gain a qualification in, where the only way to demonstrate that you have them is through how you carry yourself and talk about your past experience in person. In fact, in a survey of over 800 employers by recruitment website Reed, 96% indicated they choose someone with the right mindset over someone with the right set of skills.
To help you in your next big job interview, we’ve listed what we consider to be five of the most essential qualities that employers are always searching for in candidates. Read on to find out more.
While employers aren’t looking for someone who is smiles all the time, they will warm to those candidates that come into the interview with a positive outlook and a ‘can-do’ attitude. Displaying this quality will give the impression that you can accomplish the goals of the job and always be hungry for more — something that employers will often value more than an exceptional set of qualifications.
Matt Deighton, Managing Director at handmade furniture specialist Sofas by Saxon, always looks at attitude above almost everything else when conducting interviews. He said: “A great philosophy when it comes to recruitment is ‘hire for attitude, train for skill’. This isn’t always applicable for certain specialist roles, but in general, having an employee with the right attitude is incredibly valuable.”
Companies want to avoid hiring liars at all costs, and will be on guard for any candidates who have inaccuracies in their CV or the experiences that they explain in an interview. They would prefer to hire someone that they feel that they can believe, which is a reflection of the trust that will be placed in you if you are successful in your job application.
Going to meet a potential employer and trying to overplay your previous achievements will get you nowhere. Instead, give an honest account of yourself with examples of your accomplishments that are relatable.
Watch any episode of ‘The Apprentice’ and you will see a several individuals trying to work as a team in order to succeed. You might wonder why group-orientated tasks are so prevalent on the show, and the answer is simple: being able to work in a team is a crucial attribute for any employee. There aren’t many jobs out there where you will be completely alone in your work — the vast majority require occasional or intensive teamwork on a daily basis.
Many interviewers will include a question that directly or indirectly enquires about how well you work with others, often hinting that you should be able to give examples of having done so successfully in the past. It’s always handy to have an example ready to go should you be faced with this question, as some successful anecdotal evidence can go a long way to proving you have the potential to work as a team. This article from The Balance has quite a few good examples and strategies for answering this type of question. Give it a read and prepare your own answers and you should be good to go.
Adaptability can be a huge plus for any potential employer. Similar to having a ‘can-do’ attitude, if you can display a high level of flexibility and ingenuity to meet any challenges your new job requires, it will be a hugely positive factor in your favour.
If you are expected to fulfil a role that is different to what you have experienced previously, showing that you are able to adapt will be viewed in a great light. Likewise, working in an environment that is fast-paced or requires you to think on your feet can also benefit from a candidate that is flexible and ready to meet these challenges.
Unless you are applying for a temporary position, employers are always looking for someone who is ready to commit to them fully and for the long-term. Giving your all to a new employer shows that you are trustworthy and can earn you a lot of respect at an early stage.
If you aren’t committed to a role that you have applied for, you will find the cracks are very difficult to paper over at the interview stage. However, if you can show your dedication to your previous roles, the payoff will be worth it. Do this through illustrative examples rather than just by simply stating that you have been and will be motivated.
Job listing site Monster have published an article on this topic which explores a lot of the ways that you can show commitment to your potential employer during an interview.
Take these five essential attributes on board ahead of your job interview and you will be much better equipped to land your dream role. Good luck!