Job interviews. We’ve all been there. Your palms start to sweat; your heart starts to race a little bit faster, you don’t recall your skillset or even your last name for that matter. Despite that, it’s imperative that you try and stay calm and collected throughout your interview. You need to show your interviewers that you have the strengths and capabilities that they’re looking for. You got through the hard part — you landed the interview. Now it’s all about impressing them and allowing your personality and skills come through. But what qualities do employers look for?
I’ve been able to land, and hold, a vast array of roles. I’ve been a financial specialist. An operations coordinator. I’ve helped run apps for companies like Yahoo, and I’ve built programs utilizing Python.
Throughout all of my interviews, I know that the level of success I achieved was in part because I showed a few fundamental traits that are essential to a company. In this article, I’ll share three that you can utilize and hopefully land not only the interview but also snag the role.
Share Your Soft Skills
Soft skills are essential. Almost all employers will look for qualities under the soft skill bracket.
There are a few known ways you can land an interview; you can go to a job fair, utilize a recruiter, network, find a job posting online — etc. However, typically the first thing an interviewer sees is your resume, which has a nice outline of your employment history as well as your hard skills.
Hard skills, or otherwise known as technical training or education, are vital to possess; however, once you’ve landed an interview, employers are looking for more.
They’re looking for individuals that will become valuable members of their team. They want them to possess key characteristics that separate them from the rest.
They’re looking for people with soft skills.
Soft skills are all about how you function with other people on a team or simply how you function in the work environment. They’re your personal traits that influence what kind of work ethic you have and the person you are.
Not every job requires teamwork. But almost every employer requires you to have the ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a group.
They don’t want problems; they’re interviewing you to make their job easier, so they want to make sure they can rely on you to carry your load and work well with others.
In an article written by Ashira Prossack on Forbes, she says that soft skills can be the deciding factor between you and another candidate getting the job. No hiring manager is ever going to directly ask you about soft skills in an interview, so it’s entirely up to you to showcase them.
The secret, Prossack says, is to incorporate your soft skills as part of how you answer the questions the interviewer is asking.
“It’s a matter of explaining your answers with a ‘how’ statement, rather than just talking about a result.”
I always made sure to do throughout my interview process to share how excellent I was at problem-solving. It gave off the impression that not only was I a self-starter, but I was also independent because I knew how to resolve problems effectively.
The best way to do this is to describe any past accomplishments you’ve had in previous roles and describe how you did them. Talk about any issues that came up and how you were able to come up with a resolution.
By sharing how you overcame obstacles, you’re allowing them to trust you and feel comforted by the fact that you can stand on your own two feet.
Be Ambitious And Be The BEST
Employers appreciate individuals who are passionate about the work that they do.
Showing an employer that you’re ambitious sends a little message to their brain that tells them you’re striving towards something.
When I got my very first job at 15, it was at Subway. I interviewed with the owner, and I told her that my goal was to be the best sandwich artist they ever had. I got the job immediately, two weeks later, I had multiple returning customers because they told the manager that they loved how enthusiastic I was and that I made their day better each time they came in.
When I was interviewing at Warner Bros, they told me they were uncertain of where to put me because my prior employment history was all over the place. However, they still wanted to hire me because I showed them not only my ambition throughout the interview but the fact that I worked hard within any role I had.
Whatever you do in life — whatever role you have, be the best at it.
Be the best cashier anybody has ever seen. Strive to be the best DoorDash driver a customer has ever had, be the best barista. Be the absolute best because when you show an employer that you have this ability, they want to keep you around at all costs.
Ambition and a hard work ethic are key traits that employers look for because of what it communicates about the worker. Communicate that you’re the best.
I honestly believe showing flexibility gives you the upper hand.
The willingness — and ability — to adapt to both minor and major changes is an outstanding quality to show employers.
Regardless of what type of role you’re applying for, it’ll benefit you if you can show the interviewer examples of how flexible and adaptable you can be.
Workers that are flexibility never say, “It’s not my job” or “Do I have to?” when they are asked to take on a new assignment. Instead, flexible employees modify their approach to tasks based on their employer’s preferences and the unique demands of each situation.
In the long run, it’ll be 10x more beneficial to you.
Say something happens, and your role gets cut. By proving that you’re flexible and capable of rolling with any conflicts that arise, your employer will remember that you’re an individual who can easily adapt to different environments . They’ll be able to put you in a different position because you provide them with value.
The ability to adapt is one of the most important qualities that employers look for.
You need to prove to them you can tackle tasks and changes as they come. Flexibility can range from the assignments you’re assigned — to coming in early or staying a bit later.
If you show your employer that you’re willing to accommodate them in their time of need — they’ll return the favor.
These are just a few of the major traits that can help you in your job hunt.
Remember, while it may feel like these people hold your career at that moment — they’re just people.
And you’re here to provide them with just as much help and value as they’ll be providing for you.
Show the employers you have the qualities they look for; your powerful work ethic, ambition, and flexibility, and be the absolute best candidate they’ve ever seen. And no matter what happens, no matter how long it takes, keep at it.