Qualities employers chase

30 Mar 2021

You are waiting for an interview for a job that you really want. It is a good company and landing this job would mean the world to you, simply because it is what you deserve after years of study and hard work. Next to you, are a couple more of interviewees. What is the difference between you and them? Do you have an advantage over them or not? Can there be an advantage? Is it possible? Nowadays, firms tend to look at more than just your CV. It is not just the qualifications that make the impact but also your personality and characteristics. What are the qualities that companies look for in an employee? What values do employers want as part of their company? 

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), firms look at communication as a critical quality in an employee. Simple no? Just chat about last night’s football match and you will be good. Not quite. Communication does not only refer to how you interact with your colleagues, but how well you can receive and pass information. Whatever you are talking about at work, always look for the why – why is this particular conversation taking place? What is the end result? What is it that you want to accomplish? How is this important? It will guide you to a better understanding of the conversation and the tasks given. In addition, put conversation in person ahead of messaging. It may be more difficult to achieve since you may be currently working from home, but if you are still working in an office, do not avoid a conversation in person just to send it via message. This is fairly more relevant to the emotional conversations you may have with your colleagues. How does this affect the other person? Energy! You can convey your emotions more easily in person rather than just using a happy or sad emoji. Opting for messaging could also give hint at who you are as a person – delivering bad news via message could suggest that you are scared or a coward. It is not just about talking, but also about listening.  Perhaps, listen even more than you talk. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realise that real communication goes in both directions,” Lee Iacocca, former president and CEO of Chrysler Corporation said. 

Another important quality to possess is time management. “The ability to manage time successfully is often demonstrated during the interview process,” says Sophie Miles, cofounder of elMejorTrato. You will be faced with deadlines and you may have to work under pressure. This skill is important for the employer as it will make it easier for them to trust you to work and that you will not be wasting time. Therefore, they can do their own working without consistently checking on you to ensure that you are working. Such a quality will increase the level of trust – you may be given more tasks to handle, which would then lead to your growth in the company. How can you prove that you have no issues with time management? Be on time for the interview, start work on time, take every opportunity to show that you can meet deadlines. 

Most jobs will require you to work in a team. Hence, it is why teamwork is an essential value to have. During the interview, you can mention personal experiences which had you work in a team and discuss your role within the team. Eleonora Israele, a hiring manager pointed out that “Every role in a company is connected to other roles and teams. Employees that are able to work well with others and understand their points of view often come up with creative solutions efficiently and effectively.” Teamwork could be summed up as the balance of the above: communication, listening, trust and being respectful. It is about the team and the final goal and not about the individual. You will need to trust your team members to do a particular job or work on a specific side project. 

How can you improve trust? Honesty. This is one of the most complex qualities as it is not easily won, especially if it was previously lost. There is no reason for you to cheat or lie – so do not do it. If you are struggling with a task, ask for help, if you did not understand, do not hesitate to ask. The aforementioned points do not only apply for you: teamwork – your teammates will be there to help you too. During the interview, you can also show that you are honest. How? Mention past experiences where you struggled or failed, but show that that experience was one that you learned from.