Top 10 Qualities to Show in Job Interviews
What to Show Us, the Interviewers
1. Appropriate Professional Appearance
Job candidates arrive at their interviews, but they are frequently observed from the time they enter the building and sometimes even in the parking lot before and after the interview occurs. The process can feel, well—creepy! No place is safe from observation except the washroom (usually) these days.
If the job candidate is at all sensitive to the expectations of corporate life, he or she will have dressed appropriately for the job in question and practiced good interview behaviors in front of a mirror. A candidate may also ask friends to check him/her out before the interview.
If an applicant arrives in golf pants or dance club clothing, then that appearance reflects a lack of corporate role awareness, so the wanted place in the organization is likely to evade the interviewee. The appropriate appearance reflects the appropriate beliefs and attitudes for a good interview and acceptable work habits and productivity in the company.
Atop all this is the dynamic that company representatives like to hire people who look and behave like the rest of the employees, but they also want new people to stand out in productivity and innovative thinking. Interview candidates often need to be the best of both sides—familiar and accepted vs. new and forward-thinking.
2. High Energy and Interest in Working
Employers do not want to see a spinning-car-wheels type of hyperactivity on the job, but they do want to see their employees behaving in a manner that projects enthusiasm and a drive to produce and succeed.
Bosses and supervisors want employees that will be working with good energy all the time. At the start of a job interview, they can observe such a quality of energy as the employee enters the room.
High energy shows in your posture, your walk, and your eyes. If you have it, your job interviews will be more successful. If you have high energy at work, employers will think you are more likely to do a good job if they promote you or give you a raise, than workers who are less productive.
3. Good Work Ethic
What is "good"?
To a slacker, all work is too hard. Employers want workers that want to work.
A person that has a good work ethic has usually learned it from somewhere—such as from family and teachers. Employers look for this desire and willingness to work in every potential employee:
- Role models and mentors that believe in the importance of hard work
- Work-related free-time activities
- Willingness to take a second or even a third job
- No concern with the number of hours worked—no clock watching
- High career goals
- Good follow through—completes anything undertaken
- Paid own way through college
4. Motivation Derived From Good Role Models
Anyone from any background can become a success.
Success usually takes with hard work and because the individual had good role models among adults in life as they grew up. These could be parents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, teachers, pastors or rabbis, scout leaders, summer youth leaders, and a host of other people that influence children. It is important to have had role models growing up and it is important to find mentors on the job to serve as current role models.
Having had early role models or later choosing effective role models helps a job candidate to project that fact that 1) not only are they motivated, but also that 2) they can motivate others effectively.
5. Emotional Maturity
An immature person often uses two targeted qualities in order to manipulate and mislead others:
- A sometimes-childlike charm and skill in flattery, and
- A talent for distracting attention from his/her own shortcomings by creating a disturbance or bullying others.
Immature people are not good employees. The goal of the immature is often to satisfy only his/her own short-term gratification needs.
In fact, they often feel that the employer is responsible for doing so. Further, they may have this quality in such an extreme as to suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Others who are rather immature emotionally are less troublesome on the job and may have what is called a low EQ (Emotional Quotient); however, the EQ can be raised through instruction and training.
The strongest marker of maturity is the concern for the well-being of other human beings on a daily basis.
Emotional maturity is shown by:
- Good Judgment: Effective decision making.
- Handling Oneself well in business affairs: For example, no get-rich-quick schemes.
- Financial Responsibility: Does not overspend and create debt problems.
- A relatively low number of past employers.
- Has the person pursued a career in a mature and adult manner? Has this individual job-hopped without realistic consideration for the future of either employers or self?
6. Positive Attitude: Performing Well Is More Important Than the Paycheck
Some people work only for the money and they usually don't do a very good job at the work, because they don't like it.
Such individuals have little inner motivation to do well at a job. They often develop a resentment of work, the boss, and the company. Consequently, they will hold back their best from the job, do little real work, and coast to retirement if they can.
Loyalty is supporting your company, boss, and coworkers verbally and with actions. It means that you share a common mission statement and work together with your company and coworkers in good faith toward common goals. This also means a longer-term commitment than just a few days' work. Job-hoppers do not show loyalty.
Compatible and similar individuals make the best work teams for maximized production and success. A job applicant that is self-absorbed, emotionally "touchy", or seems to have a chip n their shoulder during an interview is likely to be disruptive and demoralizing on the job. A cooperative, open-minded person that works hard is an ideal employee.
Follow-through is useful in both personal and professional life. Good follow-through is shown in a goal-oriented individual with a history of completing his/her projects on time, often with additional work over that which is necessary for just minimal completion of a project.
Follow-through is not a person that picks up his first paycheck and never returns to the job.
10. Ability To Channel Anger Productively
The best job-seekers can manage hostilities smoothly and can supply examples of how they have done this. They also do not criticize or denigrate past employers during job interviews.
Win Your Dream Job!
Practice these 10 best practices at work consistently and your current employer will take notice. Display them in future job interviews and you will win your dream job.
Further Reading: The Ideal Employee
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2007 Patty Inglish MS