Know What Employers Look For
By: Kaustav Kashyap
The interview seat looks tired and worn and you know you have a difficult task ahead of you, competing with all those candidates who occupied the chair before you. The next time you find yourself seated across the desk from a potential employer, bear in mind that there are few key areas you will be evaluated on and aim to outshine in every one of them.
Work Experience and Education
Your skills, credentials and training will be paramount in placing you above the fray. Have all your relevant work experience at the tip of your tongue and ready to recite. There is no substitute for the right experience and qualifications and you need to be able to recite a history and general aptitude for success in the given role and industry. The right credentials coupled with sound examples of how these credentials have been professionally applied in different positions to add to productivity will be the main determinants of your suitability for any role.
Employers look for candidates with a sound understanding of how businesses in general and those applied for in particular are run. They are looking for efficiency-minded people with an eye for productivity and the bottom line and a keen sense of business policies and procedures. In any position you apply for, the employers are looking for individuals with finely honed problem-solving skills who can identify and define a problem with clarity and find and implement the optimal business solution.
Enthusiasm and Willingness to Learn
Attitude alone will not get you the job but goes a long way in bridging the gap between you and a potential employer. Enthusiastic employees with a positive attitude typically show more initiative in their role and are more likely to go the extra mile. In any role, your initial learning curve will probably be steep and employers want to be sure that you are willing to make the effort and put in the time to learn the ropes, perfect the role and continue to take the initiative to make positive strides forward. Moreover, employers know that enthusiasm is contagious and they hope that adding an employee with a positive attitude and unbounded energy will rub off positively on the rest of the team and elevate the general morale and spirit of the unit.
A professional attitude, work style and work ethic are critical in any business setting. You need to demonstrate dedication and commitment to the company and your career, honesty, integrity, sound business judgment, motivation and reliability. Make sure you always present yourself in a professional light and have a keen understanding of how your professional role impacts the company and the bottom line.
Your emotional intelligence and ability to get along well with peers, management and clients will play a key role in your success and will be under the spotlight during the interview. Be sure to demonstrate that you are a cooperative team player and have no problems interacting with other people. Many employers give importance to interpersonal skills and they found it most challenging to meet the required standards in their candidate sourcing and assessment activities.
Even star performers have to report to their boss and have to follow company rules and procedures. An employer’s worst nightmare is an entrepreneurial type who cannot take directions and is focused on outperforming in his own little domain independent of the team and the manager. Make sure you emphasize your ability to work in a team, follow the chain of command and take instructions, advice and constructive criticism positively.