Great cover letter? Check. Perfect resume? Professionally approved! That’s all well and good and while it may have landed you an interview, it’s not going to get you the job.That’s where your personality comes into play.
Research shows that a majority of employers are looking for a “cultural fit” over hard skills in today’s economy. Universum, the employer branding firm that surveys over 400,000 students and professionals worldwide on career-related issues, pulled their data and came up with the top five personality traits employers are looking for in job candidates.
Every interview should begin with a firm handshake. If you’re already sitting down when your interviewer comes into the room, stand and introduce yourself. First impressions are incredibly important and don’t think for a second that employers aren’t sizing you up the moment you walk through the door. (Aren’t you doing the same to them?) They notice your clothes, your body language, your voice, and so much more, all to conclude whether you’d fit in with the company.
2. High Energy
The biggest complaint I hear among interviewers about job candidates is their lack of enthusiasm for the job. Even if this isn’t your dream job, you still need to show excitement and enthusiasm during the interview if you want any shot at getting an offer. If you’re not a morning person and by some unlucky chance you’ve landed yourself a 9 am interview time, prepare both physically and mentally the night before. Get a good amount of sleep, wake up extra early, and absolutely eat breakfast. I’m not going to give a boring lecture about how it’s the most important meal of the day, but lets be honest, at 9am how flat on your feet are you going to feel without something to tide you over? Your interviewer will notice if you accidentally nod off mid-sentence due to tiredness or starvation, so drink some coffee or munch on an energy bar, but just make sure you eat something.
Something in your resume or cover letter probably got you this interview so right off the bat you should feel confident going in. Be careful that your confidence is not mistaken for conceitedness. It’s important to remember that you are your biggest advocate and the only person who can truly speak to your strengths, skills, and accomplishments. While you may get a good reference here and there, you need to relay your confidence in your skills directly to your interviewer. Show them you are the best candidate by telling stories of your success and explaining how you can do the same (or better) for them. By doing so, you’re not just simply blowing hot air, you’re proving to them you’re the best person for the job.
4. Self Monitoring
While there’s nothing wrong with working under a manager or working in a group, employers also want to see you have experience working independently. Your resume should communicate that you have direct leadership experience or have succeeded independently and without guidance. Being your own boss has the ability to show employers a multitude of traits they’d love to have in an employee. It shows you are able to handle difficult situations, that you are able to set goals and track your own progress, and that you are able to manage priorities and time.
5. Intellectual Curiosity
If you’re someone who has put down hobbies and interests on your resume, this is where the conversation can get dicey. You don’t want to overwhelm your interviewer with dozens of interests. That would come off as fake. Instead, talk about one or two things you’re passionate about and work in your curiosity to explore further into that interest or issue. Employers want to know your willingness to learn doesn’t stop at the first sign of hardship. Employers will often ask about your interests outside of work during an interview, and as long as you stick with something you’re passionate about and express genuine curiosity, you’ll pass this test.