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The Ultimate Guide to Nailing Your Next Interview

Bonny Calfy | June 18, 2018

It’s time to start looking for a new job. You go through the usual process of updating your résumé, applying for a dozen jobs and then waiting for what seems like forever hear from someone. You prepare the best way you know how, dominate the interview – or so you think – only to be informed they are going with someone else. How could that possibly be the case when you felt so confident in the interview?

Did you show off your best qualities and how each would fit into the workplace? Did you apply your qualities to previous work experience instead of simply saying you have a skill? When interviewing you must present your best self to the hiring manager. If you don’t, you may lose the chance at the second interview and the job entirely.

Take a look at these five key qualities employers want:

  1. Willingness to Learn

You are failing yourself when you refuse to develop your skill set. Being amazing at your job does not mean you’ve stopped needing to learn. It just means that your classroom is out in the real world and not lead by a professor.

How do I show that? Tell the interviewer how you further your knowledge. Do you learn best when someone explains a task to you once, or do you need to go through the motions yourself with some guidance? This self-awareness will display your confidence and make onboarding a lot easier for you and the employer. Discuss a previous job and the things you learned as an example.

  1. Adaptability

Paralympic athlete, Aimee Mullins once said, “The human ability to adapt is our greatest asset.” This ability is something that takes practice. Luckily, you will experience change throughout your life, and by the time you get to the workforce, you should be accustomed to transitions.

How do I show that? Bring up a time of personal or professional transition in your life, and describe how you were able to cope with the change. What were some of the challenges you went through? If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently, if anything? This shows your interviewer that while the change may have been difficult, you were able to adjust and come out on top.

  1. Hardworking

Being hardworking means you have the will and motivation to achieve something, even when the going gets rough. This is a crucial quality; 90 percent of hiring managers are looking for in their candidates.

How do I show that? It’s easy to say in an interview, “I’m a hardworker,” but just leaving it at that won’t get you very far. Instead, give examples of times when you triumphed over a difficult project.

  1. Confidence

Being confident in the workplace is knowing that you can take on any task and produce quality. Will you succeed at everything? Absolutely not, but how you overcome your failures is something that potential employees want to know about.

How do I show that? Confidence is all about how you present yourself. Dress for the job you want, and walk into the interview with your head held high. Then, talk about a time where you failed and how you moved on from it. Don’t spend the entire interview discussing failures, but showing the interviewer that you aren’t afraid to admit a mistake and that you don’t dwell on the past is important.

  1. Ambition

Employers want to see that you have the desire and drive to succeed. They want to know you aren’t going to settle because it may be the easier thing to do.

How do I show that? An employer wants to know what your future looks like through your eyes. Share your career goals and the plans you have to achieve them. Let the interviewer know why you want to get to that point in life and what motivates you. Be sure you can either tie the employer into those goals, or discuss what skills you hope to strengthen while working with their team.

Knowing the qualities that hiring managers are looking for will make your job interview process so much easier. Don’t be afraid to share accomplishments with the interviewer. If you do, you may be one step closer to landing the job you always wanted.

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About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s employer brand supervisor, Bonny Calfy oversees all recruitment marketing and employer brand efforts nationwide. Her brand awareness efforts extend over 10 years and have included launching the Paycom Careers blog and social media channels and producing recruitment videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside work, Bonny enjoys reading; fishing; and spending time with her husband, children and friends.