10 Things an Interviewer Looks For During a Job Interview

Whenever there is a key job opening in an organization, the company is usually looking to fill the position as fast as possible with the best person they can find. As such, when preparing to go for an interview, it is imperative that you are polished beyond your technical skills. In fact, interviewers consider technical skills to be just a part of your repertoire of abilities; they are in search of the ideal candidate. A survey by CareerBuilder in 2014 found that over 70% of employers considered soft skills as important as the hard skills when evaluating a candidate for a position. Additionally, 16% of the surveyed managers expressed that soft skills were even more important.

Therefore, now that you have your technical skills in hand do you have the soft ones? What are they?

Soft skills are used to refer to the hard-to-measure personal qualities or social attributes that make the perfect employee. The importance of soft-skills is that despite one’s academic accolades, personal nature is what determines whether an individual is motivated, honest, and easy to get-along-with.

As such, interviewers are shifting their technical-based focus to a holistic approach in a bid to land the ideal candidate. The following are some of the things they are looking for.

1. Communication Skills

Millennial Branding, a research and consulting firm, during a study, discovered that over 90% of employers required effective communication skills from their employees. As such, before you get into the interview, know that the interviewer probably has a vague idea about your communication skills based on your e-mail correspondence, your social media pages, phone call, or even Skype. Ensure you pay attention to detail during these interactions.

Prepare yourself for open-ended questions as these are the most often used to evaluate your communication skills. Also, be aware of your body language. Have an open body posture, maintain eye contact, and keep your arms and legs unfolded.

You may be required to describe how you once resolved a conflict at work, so be prepared for this. It indicates how you can use communication-skills to diffuse situations as well as being able to express yourself.

2. Positive Attitude

Employees receiving poor performance reviews or getting fired during their early years with the company has less to do with technical skills and more to do with an incompatible attitude with the organization.

Employers and interviewers relate a positive attitude with business professionalism. As such, they are in need of an individual that is genuinely excited about working with their enterprise. Ensure you are upbeat about working for that company.

3. Teamwork

An interviewer is looking to see if you work well with others. Most business operations require cooperation and, as such, employers are not interested in ‘gung-ho’ operatives.

Expect questions about how you once completed a group project in your previous job, in addition, to follow up questions on the same. Be wise about how you answer the question on whether you like working independently or in a group setting.

4. Being Goal-Oriented

Do not come across as seeking the job merely for a paycheck. Interviewers want an individual who views the job as a challenge that leads to fulfilling a goal. Here, the interviewer may require you describe your goals, your performance measuring metrics, and how the potential job may meet your career goals. Be ready.

5. Flexibility

Can you adapt to people or circumstances while not complaining about it? It is a quality searched for by employers and interviewers. It is flexibility that allows companies to endure economic downturns. Additionally, today’s intense competition requires flexibility to cope with the various fads. You might be asked to describe how you adjusted to a situation you had no control over.

6. Dependability

A reliable individual sits at the top of every interviewer’s list of ideals. An employer expects you to show up every time and on time. They want an individual that complies with company policy and can be trusted with the organization’s resources. As such, arrive on time. Additionally, be prepared for questions regarding your work ethic and principles.

7. Integrity

This follows dependability. A company values people who can conduct business ethically. As such, be upfront and honest in all aspects of your employment. Expect the interviewer to check your references as a measure of integrity. Expect questions on how you would/or have handled unethical scenarios.

8. Creativity

Employers, now more than ever, require a versatile person; someone who can come up with solutions for unexpected issues. Look forward to interviews gauging you for this soft skill. Expect questions about efficiency; how did you use less to make more?

9. Organization

Regardless of the organization’s nature, someone who has strong organizational skills is highly coveted. This is because multitasking, as a concept, is a myth. In fact, a 2005 study by the University-of-London discovered that workers who were distracted by phone calls and emails suffered a fall in IQ greater than that of marijuana smokers. You cannot accomplish two dissimilar tasks simultaneously and have 100% productivity.

Additionally, this research revealed the American economy loses $650 billion every year in lost productivity due to time mismanagement. Therefore, interviewers are seeking highly organized individuals.

You may, therefore, be asked to describe the organization procedure that helps you prioritize your tasks.

10. Intelligence

Without a doubt, you have to impress your interviewer with this quality. Intelligence is being able to apply acquired skills and knowledge in any context. This makes for an adaptable employee that thinks on their feet to solve issues that are not in textbooks. Your innovativeness and proficiency are inherent traits of intelligence and are much desired by employers.

Job interviews are stressful, to say the least. However, if you polish up on your soft skills as well as being smooth on the hard, you will be sure to ace the test. Always keep learning so that you can be the ideal candidate. Soft skills are now as important as the hard; ensure you go through the above tips to prepare for your interview.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.