The key qualities they are really looking for in an interview

October, 2015
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Interview revelation number one: your achievements rarely just speak for themselves. While qualifications and professional background may have gotten your foot in the door, ‘personal fit’ is likely to be just as important a factor when it comes to the interview stage of a job application.

Your interviewer is likely to be looking for evidence of the innate qualities and softer skills that play a big part in determining whether you’re the right person for the job. These are some of the key character traits your potential employer really wants to see:

1. Motivation
Most employers are looking to do more than just fill a spot on the pay roll. What interviewers arguably value above all else is a genuine desire to work for their organisation and to share in their long-term vision and goals.

Demonstrate this by showing you really understand the company and what differentiates it from its competitors. Being inquisitive and asking questions is an effective way of showing interest and engagement.

2. Communication
A CV can be doctored, professional experience spun or plumped up, but people skills are hard to fake in a face-to-face environment. How you go about building a rapport with your prospective employer offers them vital clues as to how you’ll interact with colleagues and clients. Little things – like smiling, making eye contact – can certainly help spark the connection you need.

Remember to talk about your experience of working in a team: when you’ve recognised you need other people and that collaboration has engendered great things. Businesses only succeed with good teams.

3. Problem solving
This is more than being good at the odd puzzle it’s about an innate desire and ability to go the extra mile, really look at the issues and a drive to find solutions. It’s your opportunity to demonstrate resourcefulness, enthusiasm, dynamism, agility and innovative thinking.

Go to the interview with examples of your problem solving skills, but more than that – get excited about sinking your teeth into something and finding a solution for all concerned. Employers love a problem solver.

4. Inspiration
Hiring managers are hoping to come across that one, unique candidate who will inspire them and demand to be hired on the spot. When selling yourself as the perfect candidate how you deliver your story becomes just as important as what you are saying. Originality and authenticity are key qualities so avoid focusing on generic skills and attributes that your competitors might have. Keep it concise and hone in on your ‘unique’ experiences and achievements, showcasing them at the beginning of your delivery.

Of course, each role is different, but that doesn’t mean that some approaches and techniques aren’t better than others. A few staple building blocks from which to build your interview strategy can be a great place to start.