What Employers Want to See

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When asked what they look for in potential employees, most employers say that they are looking for the following traits:

  • A well-written resume and strong cover letter
  • Demonstrated initiative and uniqueness in approaching the employer
  • Following up with the employer to schedule interview
  • Employers look for more than technical or specific job-related skills when hiring new employees. Certain characteristics have been found to be essential in developing an effective team.
Certain characteristics that are highly desirable to employers are:
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Proven ability to get along well with coworkers
  • Dedication, reliability and good attendance record

For an interviewer to identify your strengths in these areas, they need to ask situational questions such as "Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker, and how you resolved it." This type of question is becoming more and more common in interviews.

When asked open-ended questions, make sure to offer concrete examples. Answering with just a "yes" or "no" leaves the employer wondering if you truly stand behind your answer. Finally, keep in mind this list of what employers don't want to see in an interview.

Things to avoid in an Interview:

  • Poor personal appearance
  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm; passive and indifferent
  • Lack of maturity
  • Criticism of past employer
  • Poor eye contact with interviewer
  • Failure to express appreciation for interviewer's time
  • Asks no questions about the job
  • Unwillingness to relocate
  • Vague answers to questions
  • Overbearing, aggressive, conceited with 'know-it-all' complex
  • Inability to express self clearly; poor voice, poor diction, poor grammar
  • Lack of confidence and poise, nervous, ill at ease
  • Failure to participate in activities
  • Makes excuses
  • Lack of tact or courtesy, ill-mannered
  • Sloppy application form
  • No interest in company or industry
  • Intolerance, strong prejudices

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