First impressions matter when we are seeking work. Whether we like it or not, research has found that most recruiters will base their decisions on a gut feeling about a candidate.
Zety’s career expert Jacques Buffett tells us that traits differ from skills. He explains that skills refer to those found on your resume. For example, hard skills may be a programming language you possess, while soft skills include leadership, teamwork, and communication.
“Personal traits are the qualities that turn up during the interview. It’s the impression you leave through your attitude and how you compose yourself from the second you walk in the door,” Buffett remarked.
Do you want to know what the top 10 traits that can wow an interviewer are? Read on.
Loyalty is key to any company. A loyal employee is likely to continue working with the company for a long time to come, which could translate to more impactful contributions in the long run. Most importantly, faithful employees save the company money since turnover is costly.
The pandemic and its associated changes to the global economy have proven that adaptability is an essential trait for any employee or business. Apart from that, technology and social trends change rapidly, and people must adapt to the times. As such, a flexible employee who can tackle new problems without flinching is valuable to any company.
Persistence is intertwined with adaptability. Adaptable employees must also be persistent, working hard in the face of evolving or challenging situations. A person who sticks through their actions to achieve the company’s goals makes them highly indispensable to employers. Well, no one wants a quitter, right?
A trait that ties in with adaptability and persistence is open-mindedness. Candidates who are happy to try new methods of doing business, enter fresh markets, and collaborate with people who hold different ideas than themselves are far more likely to add value to a company than candidates who don’t.
Honesty is the quality of being upright. It is easy to see why interviewers are attracted to candidates who display signs of integrity. These potential employees are likely to do the right thing and uphold an honourable code of conduct throughout employment.
On the flip side, employees without integrity are likely to participate in corrupt or unethical activities that could shed an unnecessary spotlight on the company.
Sincerity is a highly subjective trait but a critical one. “It boils down to an impression a recruiter gets during an interview and if they really believe what the person is saying,” says Buffet.
If the recruiter believes the applicant to be insincere during an interview, they will likely not consider that applicant for employment. Colleagues and customers alike, too, would not want to deal with someone untruthful.
Patience may seem like an impossible trait to possess in our fast-paced world. But it is essential when seeking employment.
Most modern workplaces are team-oriented, and to work effectively in a group, one must have patience. Rushing a customer through an order, demanding faster responses from a busy colleague, or otherwise behaving in demanding ways is not ideal at the workplace.
Truth be told, businesses can sometimes be highly competitive, and kindness seems out of the question. However, candidates who are harsh are most probably unable to work effectively with their teammates as inconsiderate behaviour is distasteful.
Thus, HR managers will be on the lookout for interviewees with pleasant personalities since such people can usually build relationships with others faster, which helps in project collaborations.
For the Chinese-educated, we bet you have heard of this phrase: 忍一时风平浪静, 退一步海阔天空. In other words, “Just tahan lah!” if faced with a difficult person or situation.
Well, this is somewhat the tolerance we’re talking about. Folks who are easily prejudiced or intolerant of others will not work effectively within an organisation composed of diverse and unique people.
“Hiring an intolerant employee can create an untenable environment, and recruiters want to avoid its negative effects,” Buffet notes.
#10: Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is essential, especially if you’re applying for a leadership position.
“There are plenty of bad bosses out there, and to be (a) good boss, you need emotional understanding and compassion. Employees aren’t robots. Teams are made up of unique individuals with unique traits and qualities,” highlighted Buffet.
With that said, we think working in any environment requires identifying and managing other coworkers’ emotions and feelings. Emotionally intelligent individuals are aware of their own emotions, capable of harnessing those emotions to drive productive output and regulating their sentiments to handle challenging situations best.
Recruiters often use their first impressions of an interviewee to evaluate whether they have the abovementioned desirable traits. This means observation starts the moment you enter the meeting room or a video conference.
Some may even turn to modern tools such as social media to evaluate a candidate, as these platforms can be quite revealing of a person’s innermost traits. Ensure you do the necessary digital detox if you don’t want to reveal the less desirable sides of your secret life.