In previous JobsSunday features, the topic of job search has been examined from several perspectives -- how to keep it positive, how to re-energize, and how to highlight career highlights as selling points. This week, JobsSunday delves into what hiring managers and interviewers are looking for from job candidates.
It's important to look at the job search from the perspective of the one doing the hiring. A job candidate can have a really good background, an outstanding resume, a great skill set, but if they do not match it up with what the company is looking for, it may well go for naught.
Because of the recession and subsequent high unemployment numbers, hiring managers and interviewers can afford to be much choosier. Conversely, job candidates get fewer interviews, and must maximize their chances.
So here is an idea of what interviewers are looking for, and what job candidates should be prepared for:
· Candidates that show a lot of energy. Some people are, quite simply, born with more energy than others. At an interview, or almost anywhere, they naturally exude vigor, enthusiasm, and drive. They want and need to be active, up and doing.
Most hiring managers can sense this quality in a person almost as soon as he or she walks into the room.
· Candidates who channel that energy into their work. Hiring managers are seldom deceived by people who talk about hard work and say what a lot of hard work they do. To the lazy person, everything is hard work and he or she spends much or all of their time complaining about it. There's a fine line between being a hard worker and everything being hard work.
· Candidates who have specific role models for specific reasons. For example, a candidate who can bring their parents, heroes, or mentors who believed in hard work into the interview frequently score points. Hiring managers are also on the lookout for candidates who have work-oriented spare-time interests and/or a willingness to take on a second job.
· Candidates who display evidence of role awareness. Candidates who present themselves for interviews need to be aware that they are onstage. If the candidate is at all sensitive to the expectations of corporate life, he or she will have dressed with care and got the rest of their act together too.
· Candidates who display emotional maturity. People grow up physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Most candidates have matured physically and intellectually, but emotional maturity can never be taken for granted. There is no certificate or degree to be earned for emotional maturity, so hiring managers tend to try and probe for it during the interview.
· Candidates who need to finish a task once it is begun. Evidence of this agreeable condition can be discovered by looking for a goal-oriented individual with a history of completing anything undertaken. Examples include finishing college, writing an article or paper, or putting together a sound business enterprise. Hiring managers shy away from candidates who leave everything half-finished.
· Candidates who can be loyalty to the company cause. Loyalty does mean the candidate agrees with everything their management says, or that management is always right. Loyalty means that the candidate can and will share a common ideal with the working team in order to achieve the final goal. The key to loyalty is that common ideal, so hiring managers are on the lookout for it.
· Candidates who are compatible. Individuals make up teams, but compatible individuals make the best teams. Any candidate who is unnecessarily touchy and thin-skinned at an employment interview will probably be abrasive and disruptive if they joined the team. A get-along, go-along person who also works hard is a jewel because they shine and attract people like themselves.
Job candidates who can display these traits in a resume or during an interview stand a much higher chance of landing that long sought after job. Hiring managers are scrutinizing carefully, so candidates have to be prepared.