In our previous article, we suggested a few “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” at job interviews. That said, note that throughout the interviewing process, it’s imperative that you use your life experiences and anecdotes to show that you have the strengths that companies are looking for. Hard skills, otherwise known as technical training or education, are important to possess, but once you’ve reached the interview stage, employers are looking for more. They’re seeking people who will become valuable members of their team, and who possess key characteristics or soft skills. Soft skills are all about how you function at work and in a team. They are personal qualities that directly influence what kind of worker and person you are. Here are a few that you may want to consider working on.
Ambition is a key trait that employers look for because of what it communicates about the worker. It means that they have something they’re working towards, and they are on a path of betterment for both themselves and their circumstances. Don’t be afraid to share your big dream with potential employers. It’s likely that they’ll find value in it, and it will positively impact your worth.
Employers understand the value of effective communication and actively look for this skill in potential employees. It’s important to show your competence in this area verbally, physically and through written communication. For example, when corresponding via email, double-check the message before sending to ensure that you are being clear and concise. Another key component to good communication is the ability to actively listen and provide thoughtful feedback, so be sure to stay connected.
Being self-assured is a key characteristic that employers look for. They seek people to join their team that are confident in their abilities and that know what they want. Confident employees are friendly, engaging, and have a clear (and honest) idea of what makes them a valuable asset. A key component of confidence is having clear goals. 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.
The ability to consistently follow through is an important work trait that employers seek, and one that you can prove you have throughout the interviewing process. Show a commitment to following deadlines by completing tasks as they’re assigned.
Eagerness to learn
Employers value employees that actively seek to better themselves, so it’s important to communicate that you enjoy learning new things. Love for education demonstrates that you are dedicated and humble, recognizing that there is always more for you to learn. During the interviewing process, be sure to mention if you are an avid reader or continuing your education.
Employers also seek, in their staff, the ability to adapt. Prove to them you can tackle tasks and changes as they come. You can also show this skill by addressing improvements that need to be made and developing systems or solutions to the issues.
Honesty is another key quality that employers desire in their staff. Some applicants are tempted to overstate their qualifications to secure a job, but this is unwise. Though it may help you progress through the hiring process, if your potential employer discovers your dishonesty you may never recover their trust. Honesty is also an important characteristic to have beyond the interviewing process. An employee that admits mistakes and learns from them is an asset to any company.
Loyalty, just like honesty, is a trait that can’t be taught, which is why it is a key attribute that employers look for. Prove yourself trustworthy and committed to the success of the company, and you will be invaluable.
Employers are looking for persons who can do their bidding. They want people on their team that can pinpoint a need and address it, so be sure to recount instances when you recognized an issue and developed an effective solution.
A work environment can be dramatically altered by one person’s attitude, which is why positivity is a quality that employers look for. Positive people create healthy work environments and are often valuable members of a team. A positive attitude usually signifies resilience, and an ability to overcome setbacks.
Being proactive is an important characteristic that employers look for and one that is easy to show. In the interviewing process, ask specific questions about the duties you’ll be performing in the job. This will show that you’ve given thoughtful consideration to the position. You can also prove you’re self-motivated by recognizing needs and taking initiative on projects without being asked to.
Though not every job requires collaboration, the ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a group is a potential that employers want their employees to have. In fact, they will likely ask you how you function in a team during the interview process, so come prepared with an anecdote that highlights your ability to compromise and collaborate.
Another top quality that employers look for is a good work ethic. They want employees that work hard, are always on time and on target. Take pride in your work and others will take notice.