During your job search, you’ve probably thought about the type of company you want to work for, and have asked yourself the following questions: What are their values? Does their company culture seem to fit well with your work ethic, goals, and beliefs? Whether it’s your dream job or a stepping stone to achieving a long-term career goal within the company, your employer has an idea of the ideal candidate they want to hire.
Throughout the recruiting and hiring process, HR and discipline teams are keeping their eyes peeled for potential candidates who have certain qualities and characteristics that will fit well with their business. It’s true that different industries have distinct expectations, but in this post, we will dive into four qualities that employers look for that are typically universal across all disciplines.
One of the most important things that companies look for in their employees is integrity, which is doing your best work possible and holding yourself to a high standard. If you are working on a project, how much effort will you put forth to create the best possible outcome? Sometimes, it also means remaining confidential about a client you are working with. Your employer wants to know that you are a trustworthy person and can get the job done right. The company Gopuff, for example, demonstrates its integrity by sharing its current employee reviews of their experiences at work. Other companies like Nintendo do the same through Glassdoor, by allowing users to report their current salaries and rate their interview experiences. By remaining transparent about their company culture, employers are setting a high standard for themselves as well.
Your potential employer can also look for integrity in your character. Are you honest with yourself and others? Do you remain true to your morals and follow through on what you say? Employers do not want someone who goes back on their word or doesn’t take accountability when things go wrong. To practice integrity, keep track of your career goals, and be honest with yourself if you don’t meet them. Analyze what you could have done differently, and aim for the goal with an improved mindset. This is a self-led exercise, but it can be used as an example to use in your next interview, especially if you don’t have a lot of job experience. When your actions match your words, you are demonstrating integrity.
If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that things can change pretty quickly. In the blink of an eye, communities can be asked to adapt to a new way of life, both personally and professionally. Employers want to know that the person they hire will be able to adapt and take on whatever comes their way. In most workplaces, this fast-paced style can be a daily challenge. However, your position is unique. You’ve been a student through unprecedented times, meaning that you’ve had to adapt whether you realize it or not. From helping teachers figure out online classes to meeting with classmates in order to complete virtual group projects, you’ve had to relearn what it means to be a student. This kind of resilience is what employers look for when considering candidates for positions.
Employers want to know what ignites a fire within you that pushes you through the day. It’s important to them because they want their employees to care deeply about the things they are interacting with on a daily basis. Passion and integrity are connected. If you take pride in your work, it’s likely that you spent a lot of time and effort to make it the best it can be.
According to Deloitte, Gen Z and millennial employees are more likely to be passionate about social issues. By reading and forming opinions about social topics, you are demonstrating that you spend time educating yourself about the world around you. This is important because it shows that you care about others and aren’t afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Think about the issues that you care about. How can you talk about or demonstrate your drive in your next interview?
Last but not least, employers are looking for people who are professional. This can look different depending on the career you choose, but there are a few common practices shared by all. Before your interview, do some research on the company and the people in it. Connecting with them via email or LinkedIn and starting a conversation can show that you’re interested and that you’ve taken the time to do your homework. Growing a professional network can be the first step to getting your foot in the door for future opportunities. This is an important first step because your name will already be on their radar when your resume crosses their desk.
Most likely, your interview will be the first impression the company has of you and vice versa. Business dress is always recommended for interviews. Unfortunately, interviewers aren’t thinking, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, dressing professionally can wave a green flag in their minds and make them more open to hearing about you and your experience.
Dressing professionally doesn’t mean you can’t be yourself. Self-expression through style is important, and there are many ways to incorporate your flare into professional attire. Try using your favorite social media platforms to search for your style and add words like “professional” or “business wear” to get some inspiration. More likely than not, you already have the pieces in
your closet to put together, but this hack can help you visualize it. Dressing for the workplace doesn’t have to be boring, so have fun with it!
Integrity, adaptability, passion, and professionalism are just four of the many qualities that companies look for when hiring new employees. Start to instill these values in yourself and make sure to hold yourself accountable to them. Keep these values in mind as a guide for your next job search or interview prep, you will be more prepared to show prospective employers your best self.