What employers look for during job interviews

You’ve passed the first round of applications—your resume has proven that you’re a suitable candidate for the position. Next comes the interview, which is an opportunity for interviewers to get to know more about you beyond what is written on your resume. We list the top considerations that employers look for during job interviews and how you can make a lasting impression.

Role fit
Without a doubt, interviewers are looking for candidates who are most suited for the role—those who possess the right skills required for them to complete their tasks. Illustrate how you have the relevant skills for the position you are applying for by providing specific examples of how you have used these skills to achieve company goals and objectives in your previous employment. For example, candidates applying for a sales related role should be able to display a commercial mindset and the ability to grow new businesses, substantiated with clear examples.

Team fit
While relevant skills and experience are paramount, they can be taught to anyone. What sets a good candidate apart from an average one is team fit, which is determined by the personal attributes of the individual. Hence, interviewers would want to get a glimpse of your personality during the interview. To really impress your interviewer, win them over by letting your personality shine. You could even go the extra mile by taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test beforehand to find out your personality type, and then use the test results as a way to better articulate how you can work and fit in well with the team.

The way candidates carry themselves
At an interview, your appearance is your first impression. Overall grooming and attire should be clean, tidy and neat not only to show that you are serious about the job, but also as a form of respect to the interviewer. On that note, you should also be punctual for the interview.

Another thing that interviewers look out for is whether candidates come prepared for their interview. This includes having a good understanding of both the company and the job that they are applying for. Having good knowledge of the company and job will not only help you prepare thoughtful answers for targeted questions about the position, but also reflect your interest in the job to the interviewer.

Lastly, practice good etiquette throughout the interview. Exude confidence, positivity and interest by using a positive tone of voice, effective eye contact, as well as being responsive to your interviewer.

Growth potential
Interviewers look for candidates who can not only successfully perform the job today but also have plans to eventually develop themselves further to take on greater responsibilities down the road. Understanding the career aspirations and growth potential of candidates is crucial in supporting the growth of the company. Provide evidence of what you have created, changed or initiated in your career to demonstrate that you possess growth potential.

Motivation for job change
If you are interviewing for a new job, interviewers want to hear that you’re leaving for the right reasons, such as career growth and better opportunities, rather than because of bad performance or poor working relationships. They are looking for people who can get along well with their colleagues and are genuinely interested in building their career and growing with the company. And from the employer’s perspective – interviewers will also be taking into consideration whether their company can offer the progression that the candidate is looking for. Ultimately, retention is key.

Curious mindset
Last but not least, a candidate with a curious mindset stands out in an interview. Many are hesitant to ask questions as they are afraid of appearing unintelligent. On the contrary, there are no dumb questions. Interviewers welcome questions as it shows that you are genuinely interested in being successful in the job and company. Also, interviews should be interactive and not one-sided, as it’s meant to be a process where both the interviewer and the candidate learn more about each other to determine role- and organization-fit.

While interviews may seem daunting and overwhelming, the key to having a successful one is to come prepared, have genuine interest in the position and the company, and be yourself. Don’t forget to give your interviewer a smile and firm handshake, and to follow up after the interview!

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