- On August 30, 2023
When hiring, employers want to ensure the person they choose is the best fit for both the position and the company. Employers look for job candidates who bring a variety of assets to the table—not just hard skills and experience. Throughout the interviewing process, candidates use work history and accomplishments to show that they have the qualifications that employers seek. While hard skills are important, employers also seek soft skills or interpersonal skills that directly influence what kind of employee each candidate will be.
Being able to bring a resume to life in an interview is a vital skill for landing a job after “looking good on paper” to trigger the initial call. Let’s dive into key areas that can be evaluated by job candidates to help ensure they’re fulfilling the expectations of employers during the interview stage.
- Ambition: Ambition is a crucial characteristic that employers look for because it envelopes a slew of traits that can be beneficial in the workplace. Showing that you’re ambitious lets potential employers know that you are committed, motivated, eager to learn, and on a path forward that will be mutually beneficial to both yourself and the company. Showing employers that you’re ambitious gives them confidence that you’ll be an asset to their team. Communicating your dreams to potential employers will prove that you are striving for something bigger and not just looking for a job to pay your bills.
- Communication: Managers understand the worth of compelling, professional correspondence and search for this ability in employees. It’s vital to show your ability to correspond verbally in an interview and pre screening calls, as well as through written communication. When communicating prior to interviews via email, double check the simple things—grammar, spelling, and overall messaging. Your written correspondence is one of the first pieces of the hiring process that you are being perceived by.
- Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the analysis of available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments in order to form a judgment or solution. Potential employers want to understand your ability to consider new ideas to improve processes or solve difficult problems. Critical thinking themed interview questions are an excellent opportunity to elaborate on your experience by highlighting positive situations and outcomes that were a result of your strategic reaction. It may also be beneficial to include how open-mindedness benefited you and your work. Typically, good critical thinkers are able to work both independently and with others to solve problems, so be sure to tie in self-motivation and collaboration as part of your response (if applicable).
- Strong References: It’s great to have the confidence to build yourself up in the eyes of a potential employer, but proving that what you’re stating through examples and references will help employers believe the hype. Your choice of references gives clues as to whether you could fulfill the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the role of interest. Determining which of your previous colleagues, coworkers, managers, or supervisors to list as a reference depends on who knows you best. Think about the responsibilities you had and the accomplishments you achieved in previous roles, and who can attest to them. It would be best if you can choose a mix of professionals, as they can provide different perspectives to help you land a job. Do not select people who you do not have some type of relationship or communication with.
Doing your research to understand a company’s history and culture, and highlighting which of your own assets best align with the company being interviewed for, helps improve your chances of landing a job. Be honest with yourself and employers about your values and expectations. Employers wish to know whether you blend with their culture; if you’re truly a good fit for the team, everyone wins! The more you align with the company’s mission, vision, and values, the more likely you will remain with the organization long-term.
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