Attitude or Aptitude: What Hiring Managers Look For in Job Candidates

Interviews are often the most challenging part of seeking a new job or position. Candidates are challenged to present the best version of themselves, to stand out and be deemed worthy of a new organization by a recruiter or hiring manager.

In today’s competitive market, merely having the right academic qualifications or job experience does not automatically qualify you for a new position. Nowadays, these are considered the bare minimum to being hired: mere aptitude, or competency, isn’t going to cut it anymore. With a huge pool of candidates to choose from, recruiters and hiring managers will seek well-rounded employees with certain key skills, to ensure optimum value from each hire.

But what exactly are these key skills? Lets take a look at six traits that hiring managers look for when assessing new job candidates.

1. Preparation

When you go into an interview well-prepared, it shows the interviewer your eagerness to work, and how dedicated you are to doing a good job. So equip yourself with knowledge before meeting a hiring manager: research the company you’re applying for, and get familiar with its mission, products, achievements and culture.

Have all supporting documents on hand, such as copies of your résumé, recommendation letters, and, if necessary, a portfolio. Be prepared with a pen, paper, or journal, and make sure your phone is off. And of course, have a good night’s sleep the night before!

Want to learn more? Check out the ReSkills On The Go class ‘Create Best Impressions with an Interview Application’ here.

2. Communication Skills

Most employers are aware of the importance of excellent communication, and actively seek out candidates who possess it. It’s therefore crucial to demonstrate your expertise in written, verbal, and physical communication.

When communicating through email, make sure your message is crystal clear and succinct by reading it again before sending. When speaking to interviewers, don’t rush into your answers. Give everything you say some thought, and make sure to speak clearly, confidently, and succinctly. Also remember that effective listening is just as important to communication as speaking.

Want to learn more? Check out the ReSkills On The Go class ‘First Time? Ace Those Interviews’ here.

3. Teamwork

There are very few roles where an employee will be completely isolated during his role. Most positions require working with other people, and hiring managers are on the lookout for people who not only excel individually, but also when in a team.

On your resume, highlight activities and achievements that demonstrate you are a team player, whether in a business or non-business context. Also be ready with stories or anecdotes that demonstrate you possess these skills.

Want to learn more? Check out the ReSkills On The Go class ‘Master the Essentials to Ace Your Next Interview’ here.

4. Problem solving

Problem-solving abilities are crucial in the workplace, as they help workers identify problems, make wise choices, and contribute to the success of their organisations. Hiring managers are constantly seeking out candidates who can effectively analyse issues, think critically, and generate original solutions.

Prior to the interview, think of a few examples of challenges or problems you have faced in the past and how you approached them. When discussing your problem-solving skills, be sure to highlight the positive outcomes you achieved. This can include improvements in productivity, cost savings, customer satisfaction, or other measurable results.

Want to learn more? Check out the ReSkills On The Go class ‘The 3 P’s to Ace That Interview’ here.

5. Positivity

Being positive is a trait that many companies value, as a great attitude often creates a significant impact on the workplace. Positive individuals foster productive workplaces and are frequently effective team players. Traits such as passion, resilience and the capacity to bounce back from setbacks are also often associated with a positive attitude.

Demonstrating positivity during an interview can be as simple as just smiling at your recruiter, and expressing enthusiasm and excitement for the job and the company. Be open, maintain eye contact, and use positive body language.

Want to learn more? Check out the ReSkills On The Go class ‘Leverage Yourself to Land Your Dream Job’ here.

6. Learning and Adaptability

No matter how experienced you are, getting a new position will require you to pick up new things. This can range from new operational or technological systems to new work processes. Employers are therefore always seeking candidates with strong learning skills, which help candidates pick up new information and quickly adapt to changing circumstances at work.

These skills are especially crucial today, in light of how quickly workplaces are evolving in order to stay competitive. Possessing strong learning and adaptation abilities will help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate to employers that you are eager to learn and adjust as needed.

Want to learn more? Check out the ReSkills On The Go class ‘Strategic Interviewing Techniques and Best Practices’ here.

All the best for your job application!

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