You also want the candidate to be a positive person. Do they smile and look excited about having an opportunity with the organization? Are they asking questions? Are they prepared? Which brings me to another item... did they prepare for the interview? Although someone may have a degree, getting a job is not an automatic given. I have seen time and time again where people walk into interviews believing that they are going to get the job just because they already have the skills. Skills can be taught. However, Personality and Fit for the position or the environment cannot be taught, so it is very important that a candidate for a position, especially a new graduate, doesn't get walk in too cocky. Be confident, for sure, but don't allow your degree overshadow the hard work and desire you have to want to work someplace.
One of the biggest things for me is that the college graduate have some type of life skill. Some graduates are in the military part-time (Reserves/National Guard) or worked their entire way through college to help pay for it. Or maybe they started college years ago and had to stop because of a life event then started back up to finally finish, providing them more life experience. Anything that allows a college graduate to open them up to real life outside of the dorm or classroom is very helpful to what they will see and have to deal with in the workplace is helpful to an employer and/or manager.
Diversity is also critically important. Workplaces nowadays are filled with many races, ages, sexes, cultures, etc. and a manager doesn't want to have to deal with issues regarding ignorance in the workplace due to lack of diversity or diversity training. It's great to know that a candidate has had a college life full of diverse experiences through the dorm life, classroom life, voluteerism, internships, their own life experiences, and/or anything! I can honestly say that in my organization, the diversity is the #1 reason I love working there.
The biggest advice that I give graduates is to Never Ever Give Up! Set your sights high and reach for them. There is so much life to live and so many things out there to experience... it's going to be an amazing time! Enjoy each day with love, laughter and passion!
Diali E. recommends the following next steps:
For new graduates, many companies look for the following general qualities:
1. Great communication skills: writing, reading, presenting, comprehension, basically the ability to communicate well with others. That also means not being so involved with your smartphone that you don't pay attention during meetings, that you are not constantly texting others (unless your job requires it), ...
2. A positive and impressive personal brand: Remember that anything you do online or say online is discoverable. Your public comments on facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin, etc... in addition to your resume and skills, represent who you are. Be very careful about what you post and what you say online.
3. Emotional intelligence: the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive others’ emotional needs and triggers, and it can be the tipping point in an employer hiring one candidate over another. Are you self-aware or self-absorbed? Are you asking meaningful questions about the company and its long-term goals, or are you focused on your short-term needs? Can you comfortably network in a room of strangers? Are you projecting confidence, humility, and pleasantness? Successful business units require teamwork and that requires people who have a strong likability factor and who have emotional intelligence.
4. Optimism: are you positive, present a good attitude and do people feel like you would be a good fit for their team and be a good leader in the organization? Will you represent the company well and fit into company culture?
5. Problem solving skills: Do you search for answers or expect them to be given to you? How do you approach problems and challenges? Do you try to find resources and learn or do you give up?
6. Diversity in thinking and behaving: Are you open to different experiences? Do you treat all people with respect? Do you welcome different points of view and people from different backgrounds, skills, cultures? Are you creative? Do you inspire others? Are you able to work with a team? Are you helpful to others?
7. Skills: do you have the knowledge, experience, background and education for the role you have applied for? Do you like to learn and expand your knowledge? Are you willing to work hard?
There are more qualities, but this list is a good starting point.
General list source: From Huffington Post article blog & I also added my own tips from my own experience in HR.
I hope this list of qualities helps you as you develop in your professional career.
Best wishes to you.