Top Characteristics for Candidates

The job market is and has always been a competitive space. More and more young adults are graduating with university degrees, let alone MBAs or other graduate certificates. Without further ado, here are the top 6 characteristics that employers are searching for throughout the recruitment process.

  • Communication skills – this is quite easy for the interviewer to diagnose but is vital in the hiring process. Whether you will be working as an account manager and will have direct contact with customers or, whether your job will be more focused on internal operations; communication is crucial for every job. Poor communication skills can very well be the difference in the decision-making process.
  • Politeness – Interviewers oftentimes associate a candidate’s manners with their likeability. You might wonder why that is important. Part of the hiring process for the interviewer is trying to imagine how you will integrate into the current culture and work dynamic. Although a small detail, not saying, “please” or “thank you” is definitely a red flag for most. It is true that you might need some technical skills to land the job but do not forget about soft skills.
  • Willingness to learn – this is one of the more important traits. For most companies, new employees will need to be trained and learn new skills. Make sure you communicate your willingness to learn. Perhaps you can provide the interviewer with an example of how you did so in a previous job to demonstrate that capability.
  • Team player – When it comes to cultural fit, being a team player is invaluable. Gary Vee ( is famous for firing top talent that he believes is toxic to his culture. Regardless of the length of your interview, be sure to ask about the current culture. You don’t want to commit to a company whose culture does not fit your personality. However, if the culture is a good fit for you, be sure to express how you plan on adding value to the culture.
  • Ability to solve problems and think critically – Employers want to see that you are able to solve issues on your own. They might ask you situational questions to gauge your level of critical thinking. This is important because it will indicate how much they will or will not have to micro-manage you as an employee.
  • Adaptability – businesses change; it is that simple and those changes can very well affect the scope of your job. Employers do not want to worry that you will be closed-minded to incremental job shifts. Granted, if you were hired to be a web developer it wouldn’t make sense for you to move to accounting. However, you might have to shift from one project to another and employers do not want to have to worry about your ability to adjust.

Ultimately, candidates need to be flexible and capable to really impress the interviewer. Keep in mind, most companies are looking at dozens of potential employees just like yourself, so the question remains; how do you plan on standing out from the rest of the pack?

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