Written by Shea Ki
It's true. Your current or future boss is all about T & A's. NOOOO. Not those. (Or at least I hope not as sexual harassment is never okay).
Hiring managers and recruiters have told me time and again that their top candidates to hire or promote demonstrate these six temperaments and attributes:
Trainable. Often, not having a certain skill set the employer is looking for can actually work in your favor. It's often easier and a time-saver to learn something new rather than unlearn someone else's way of customer service, technology, marketing, or doing things. But you need to be ready with solid examples of other new skills you picked up quickly in the past. Be sure to remind them of how the current strengths you do have will benefit them.
Thriving. Research in human resources is increasingly supportive of companies taking better care of their employees. This is fantastic news, but it also means hiring managers are often seeking candidates who already prioritize their own self-care. Those with consistent well-being bring less drama, complaints, and personal problems to the office or other workplace. This saves the company time, money, and stress. When you show up well-groomed, rested, prepared and with a genuine positive outlook it speaks volumes about your personal self-worth.
Trustworthy. This goes beyond having a clean background check and references that will be able to speak confidently about your actual work habits. Employers need affirmed in the interview that you will be a good representation of their brand or company inside and outside of the office. What will they see as an image of you when they "google" your name or look at your social media? How are you going to make certain they don't picture you being someone that will be Vining, SnapChating, or constantly texting others while on the job? Clean up what you can that is on the internet and get them instead picturing specific, professional images of you in their mind. Be sure to also bring up descriptive examples of when you were given or took on increased responsibility and what impact your creative ideas and hard work made.
Aspiring. You actually do not usually need to have your three or five year plan for the future all mapped out for the interview. Ease that pressure on yourself. Online dictionaries define "aspiring" as "directing one's hopes or ambitions toward something great or of high value". You may not know all the specifics of where you are headed, but you want to able to let the employer in on what direction you are intending to follow. If you can answer genuinely how the company's values and mission align with your own, you are well on your way to demonstrating an aspiring mindset for being a successful professional.
Answer-Oriented. To be a top candidate at an interview, you have to do your research to find out some of the company's current pain points and expected upcoming challenges. This also helps equip you with knowing what role you see yourself in and makes it easier to communicate your value. Your rating at the interview will rise further when you know what specific skills you bring to help resolve some of the problems, sustain success, or bring about positive change.
Being answer-oriented doesn't mean you have to be a know-it-all (as that would actually turn most companies off). Think of the opposite as being someone who only points out the problems but does not offer ideas for resolving the situation. The lack of job candidates giving results-based examples of having initiative and critical thinking really frustrates companies.
You will shine in the interview the more you can speak to how you bring solutions to the table.
Adaptable. This isn't something many can usually detail out off the top of their head but rather need to reflect on and practice before the interview. Go beyond the common examples of "had to meet a new deadline", "got used to a new boss", or "we had a re-org". Perk up the interview's ears and and keep them listening as you describe an interesting problem you solved when the unexpected happened. Always be clear when offering up examples of adaptability that you are flexible and able to adjust to new demands. But also confirm that you have a consistent, strong work ethic and provide stories of how you have kept up the team morale in previous opportunities.
By providing genuine, detailed examples of how you model these professional "T & A's" at your interview, you can be confident you will stay in the employer's mind for the right reasons.
YOUR TURN--Share your comments about what employers want in the interview or ask any question you have about interviewing skills below. You may see the answer in an upcoming blog post!
Most importantly, believe in you.