Navigating the job market right as you graduate can be a daunting task. You have to prepare the necessary documents, narrow down the type of jobs you want, and then go through the interview process. The interview is where most potential employers decide to hire you or not. So what goes on in the interviewers’ minds when they conduct interviews, and what are they looking for when they hire? From the finance industry to sales, the creative industry to construction, these potential employers share their thoughts on five key areas.
1) A Good First Impression
People may have divided views on how much first impressions matter, but you can’t deny its power. Getting off to a right start is a step in the correct direction, at least. Based on the answers we gathered, these were what cropped up most frequently:
- Having a good attitude
- Being polite
- Being punctual (or early!)
In addition to that, employers would also like to see the effort you put in for the interview process. Some examples include putting together a visually enticing deck or summary of yourself, and making sure you do some homework about the company. Being sincere, greeting the interviewer warmly, and having a short, concise introduction about yourself with humour are brownie points too!
2) Desirable Traits
Everyone will possess different traits and personalities, and some are more highly valued than employers than others. Among them include:
- Being honest
- Willingness to learn and take on challenges
- Being able to accept constructive feedback
Other than that, just like the first impression, being punctual and having a good attitude is important as well. Some other traits that are desirable to potential employers are being hardworking, confident, and to know what you’re looking for. If you’re the type to initiate learning or to go the extra mile, are a good communicator and empathetic, that could be a score for you as well!
3) Some Turn-Offs
In other words, this is what dashes your chances of getting hired, and you should definitely be avoiding it. Even if you make a good first impression and successfully get the job, the tables could easily turn if you exhibit these traits or behaviours:
- Overpromising (all talk, no action)
- Being rude or disrespectful
- Unable to take feedback
Continuing from the above, one of the people we spoke to also mentioned that not being able to improve after feedback has been given for more than five times is also a turn-off. Depending on the nature of the job you’re applying for, not being a team player could also hurt your chances of getting hired. You should also try to be efficient and alert in your job, and avoid lying and stealing–honesty is the best policy.
Turn-offs are one thing, and they may only present themselves with time, but dealbreakers are the ones that break your chance on the spot. The top three dealbreakers according to those we spoke to are:
In other words, if you go in thinking you’re the bee’s knees and have no regard for others, you’re out before you’re in. Potential employers don’t owe you anything, and they certainly don’t have to give in to your demands, especially if they’re unreasonable. Some other dealbreakers include a high language barrier, and when the interviewee does not grasp the fundamentals of the job he or she is applying for. Again, do your homework.
Lastly, for all you job seekers out there, we have some tips gathered from potential employers that might help you. Take a look:
- Show your attitude and effort towards the job/industry you’re applying for i.e. what actions have you taken in line with this, have you studied about the company?
- Be prepared for all possible questions during the interview
- Be clear about what you want to do or your goals in relation to the job/company
The more you know, the better you’re prepared. Asking intelligent questions such as “how can I help you if I join?”, “what are your expectations of me?”, and “what projects will I be tasked on?” also shows that you’re curious about the job, and committed to learn what you’ll need to do. Depending on the nature of your job, you could also have a robust portfolio prepared, and talk about how you contributed or solved problems in each project you handled in a concise manner. Apparently, for one of them, knowing how to build your own ladder is an invaluable skill, so hit us up if this is your expertise, and we’ll try and set you up. Most importantly, present yourself well, and remember to smile! 🙂