Skip to main content
2 answers
2
Asked 575 views

What are the most important qualities employers look for in interviewees?

I have many interviews coming up for internships and potential jobs, and I want to know how to "wow" everyone I interview with. #employment-opportunities #bethebest

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

2

2 answers


0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Austin’s Answer

Hi Caroline,

Your question is the "million dollar question". I have had maybe 15 interviews and each time I get the same nervous "I have no idea what is happening" feeling in my stomach before I walk into the interview room. While not all interviews are the same and some interviews have elements not found in others, there are a few general commonalities that I have found to be present in all the interviews that I have personally had.


Personality is probably the biggest thing that my potential employers, and current employer, were trying to gauge when they extended me the offer to interview. Companies interview hundreds if not thousands of people and the largest differentiation I have found is whether or not you were able to express the kind of person that you are during the interview. The reason why most/many places ask behavioral question (i.e. "tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult coworker") is because the interviewer wants to understand who you are, how you think, and the kind of person that you are. It may seem tempting to use a standard answer to try and fit in, but this is a massive mistake in my opinion; companies employ people and people have personalities and nuances to them. Don't act as someone who you are not, express yourself confidently. I am a pretty easy going guy and I use humor a lot, I brought that same spirit to my interviews and it has served me well.


Preparation and presentation are also a key element of nailing your interviews. In your interviews, you should be able to name the CEO, when the company was founded, and what the company basically does. This does not mean you have to memorize the name of the CFO's dog, but you should be able to speak confidently about the company. I was asked onetime what the company ethics/values were and I froze, I learned my mistake the hard way and never forgot to review the website of the place that I was interviewing for.

Presentation and dressing the part is also an important thing to be aware of. First impressions matter and if they look at you and you are not dressed the part then you will be fighting an uphill battle for the rest of the interview. I have interviewed for mainly corporate private sector jobs and I made sure to wear a full suit+tie and made sure to shine my shoes. Dress for the place you are interviewing for, if you are interviewing to work at a start-up then overly formal clothing probably isn't the best choice. Also be sure to always bring two pens, a notebook, and multiple copes of your resume and cover letter.


I could go on, but I'll cut myself off. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in your interviews.


Best,

Austin



0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kim’s Answer

Honesty and sincerity are important. You need to find a way to "connect" with them, and not give "rehearsed" answers. Each employer is different, so, you end up "winging it," gauging their expressions and body language and going from there.


Two examples, both from the same interview, for a position as a driver's license test administrator.

  1. They give all applicants a "test" of their ability to lift 35 lbs. So, they started the exam with a box of copier paper placed on the floor, with no lid on it. I do not squat very well. So, I grabbed the box by the flaps, lightly tossed it into the air to get my hands under it, and blurted out (in front of a panel interview!) "wow, this doesn't wiggle nearly as much as my dog!" It was not planned, just sort of happened. But they loved it! I think it showed that yes, I really do lift up heavy things, and, besides, who doesn't love dogs?
  2. Later in the interview, they asked, "suppose you had to give a driving test to a person who smelled like they had not bathed in several months. How would you handle it?" My response: "They're just another customer." They loved that as well. I said it with sincerity, and I meant it. However, had my current employer asked that question, that answer would not have worked, as they are looking for the canned response of " All customers are treated with dignity and respect. I would not say or do anything to call attention to his condition."

Overall, make sure you listen to the question, understand it, and give BRIEF, but detailed, responses. Do not ramble. The interview is your chance to demonstrate how you will help your employer to be successful. Oversimplifying, remember that the purpose of business is to make money, and show that you are going to work hard to make, or save, money for your employer. Social service agencies want to keep their grants and get new ones. Gov't agencies are trying to keep elected officials from getting phone calls about them (way oversimplified!) Some things that matter, depending on the job: safety, customer service (irate customers go to the internet), speed & accuracy, confidentiality of client information. Work some of these into your answers, and they will be wowed!

0