You’ve made it through the heap of resumes and got a call back for an interview. You have all the technical skills and experience, but still, it doesn’t mean you’re a shoe in for the job.
Hiring mangers look beyond skills and experience when choosing the right candidate for their company. They have a list of ‘must have’ personality traits that transcend all jobs, whether it’s a secretary or CEO.
Here’s a look at four character traits you want to have to help you land the job:
1. Hard Work Ethic
It’s no secret recruiters want to hire people that aren’t afraid to work hard, but they also want to see that you are willing to sacrifice in order to get the job done. According to Tom Gimbel, founder and Chief Executive of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting company, that’s why it’s important to get across during the interview instances where you sacrificed personal things for your job. For instance, maybe you postponed a vacation to complete a huge project or perhaps you didn’t blink when you had to work ninety hours in one week. Whatever it was, as long as you are sincere it should resonate with the interviewee.
“The fact of the matter is most people that don’t work a million hours are usually talking about the work/life balance on the interview,” says Gimbel. “The hiring manager wants to hear that your career is your priority.”
2. Playing Well With Others
It’s easy for an employer to teach someone a new skill, but it’s not so easy to teach them how to get along well with others. That’s something that’s either in you or isn’t and the hiring manager wants to bring on the candidate that has it. “A lot of people aren’t team players,” says Gimbel. “Companies want people who can interact with other departments and communicate well.”
According to Terry Pile, Principal Consultant of Career Advisors, the best way to demonstrate you’re a team player is to tell the recruiter stories about how you stayed after work to help employees that weren’t on your team or how you trained co-workers on a new system. Giving real examples of how you are a team player should go a long way come decision time.
3. Showing Initiative
It’s easy to show initiative when you are on the job, but hiring managers also want to see that on the interview. The best way to demonstrate that: do you homework. Learn everything there is to know about the company, industry and if at all possible the person you’ll be working for and/or the one doing the interview. By doing that you’ll demonstrate you care enough about the job to educate yourself about the company and the cultural parts about it.
“Take something you read about the company and connect it to your own experience and abilities,” says Marjorie Terry, VP of client services at career advisory company Great on the Job.
Researching the company will also put you in a position to ask insightful questions during the interview, which is what hiring managers want to see. “Showing you are interested and have some knowledge about the company and industry is impressive,” says Pile. Know the challenges the company faces, its competitors and how the industry is performing and address it during the interview, she says.
4. Strong Communications Skills
You may be a top programmer or great at what you do, but if you can’t communicate on the interview it will be lost on the recruiter. According to career experts, hiring managers want job candidates that can speak clearly and concisely. So if you were the one to give presentations for your team or was in charge of training new hires, make that known in the interview. If your strong suit is writing, let the hiring manager know you were in charge of writing the company manual.
“Being a strong communicator is key to getting hired and being successful once you land the job,” says Terry.