We all have an idea of what employers want to hear in a job interview. If you need a hint, you’ll find no shortage of articles on the web to help you formulate the best answer to those tricky interview questions.
Having the “right” answer isn’t necessarily as important as letting your personality shine through in the job interview. What matters most to recruiters is matching the new hire to the company’s cultural fit and values. Having an awareness of one’s personality traits and understanding of those strengths is an invaluable compass to help you navigate through your job hunt.
As many employers know, a candidate's attitude and personality play an important part in predicting success in the workplace. It’s the interviewer’s role to sift through the premeditated interview answers and dig deeper to uncover the candidate’s personality.
In many ways, personality traits are just as important as the technical skills needed for the job. While technical skills can be learned on the job or built with proper training, interpersonal skills are tricker to teach and are heavily dependant on an individual’s personality.
What matters most to employers and recruiters is that the person they hire embodies similar company values in their everyday lives. What are some of the characteristics employers are looking for in their candidates and how can you make sure you translate this in the space of a short interview?
Don’t lie to yourself. Are you genuinely excited about the company and the position? If not, how do you expect yourself to be motivated when you come onboard? Employers seek someone who genuinely loves the work they do and care about the outcomes.
• The company’s employment branding and the company's values. Do they match your own?
• What excites you about the role?
• Are you willing to learn new skills?
“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals,” says Angela Lee Duckworth, psychologist and popular science author. In her TED Talk, she relates her experience teaching seventh graders in a New York Public School and discovered that IQ and other socioeconomic factors are not the only things that separate the successful students from those who struggle. She argues that grit is a predictor of both academic and career success.
Employers are drawn to candidates with grit because they demonstrate the tenacity to carry through challenges with clever problem-solving. This characteristic says more about the person than any GPA, IQ, or any other standardised testing. It’s not always written out in numbers, certificates, or diplomas and can be applied in so many different areas of our lives.
• Want to know how gritty you are?
• How do you set personal goals for yourself and achieve them?
• Grit can help you practice what you're passionate about even when it's hard and especially when it seems boring. It’s a trait that we can all work more towards to help with success in anything we aim to achieve.
The “people” person appeals to the interviewer for obvious reasons. This person is not afraid of meeting new people and can socialise with almost anyone. Introverted or extroverted, this person is likeable because they’re polite, professional, and genuine.
Loyalty and commitment
It's no secret that job-hopping has become a job industry norm, especially among millennials. Today, more than ever, hiring managers are interested in candidates who demonstrate a strong potential to stay loyal and committed to a company. An organisation is made up of its people, and people who are there for the long-term hold higher value to the culture and success of that organisation.
• What are your long-term goals, and what are you doing today to help you achieve them?
• What are some actions you’ve taken in your professional development to demonstrate your loyalty and commitment to a company?
• How do you keep yourself and your team motivated at work?