You’ve been searching for your next challenge and you found the perfect match on paper. You have the right technical skills and you just secured your interview. This is all great news but having the right technical skills won’t always get you the role you want. Instead you need to come prepared to the interview so that you can show them why you’re the perfect fit. In order to prepare it’s important you know the 5 qualities that organizations look for in candidate.
Understand the organization
When preparing for your interview it is still important to do some research on the company. Checking out their website for their values or seeing who you might know that works there is helpful. While most organizations are similar in what they look for they can vary and it’s important to be prepared. You can also leverage your recruitment partners to help you prepare although finding the right ones are important as some never prepare you .
Most desirable qualities
One thing I have noticed over my career is that the candidate most passionate about a role gets it. Showing passion in anything will draw people into what you’re saying after all. When people speak with enthusiasm and excitement then they will light up a room and make it easier for the interview to understand who they are. Now you might be thinking that some people are blessed with charisma and energy naturally and it can be hard for some people to bring to the table. While this might be somewhat true there is a way to overcome this if you are more introverted.
How can you demonstrate it? The answer is first doing the research to understand the role and the company itself. Knowing what they do and what they want to accomplish will help you in the conversation. Using this information, you can build questions to ask that are far more in depth than typical. An example could be asking how they plan to evolve their product to expand into the US or Europe. This shows you are in touch with their organization but can also help you understand growth opportunity.
One quality that has become very prevalent recently is the ability to act proactively. What this means is not waiting for someone to assign tasks to you but instead seeking them out. Organizations want people who will take the time to understand their business and planning and input their own ideas and changes if they are needed. They want to hand more responsibility to their employees knowing that they are more capable of adapting to issues.
How can you demonstrate it? Having examples of how you were able to identify necessary changes or potential problems in previous projects is key. Think these examples through in terms of how you identified the potential pitfall, the plan you created to overcome it. Then let them know how you made the appropriate people aware and implemented these changes in the project. Finally, be prepared to talk about how it helped the business. It’s important to think through each step and not have a broad example that didn’t do anything.
One thing you’ll see on almost any job description is teamwork so it’s almost irrelevant to talk about. After all who wants an employee that doesn’t get along with anyone? Instead I take this idea even further to the mentorship and support of others. If you want to stand out it’s no longer good enough to just get along with your team, instead you need to be working to help them improve. Many organizations are starting to understand that a medium performer who makes the people around them better can be better than a high performer.
How can you demonstrate it? Once again this is about preparing concrete examples of how you have helped people improve. Take it step by step by identifying what you planned to help someone with. Then your in-depth plan of how you would help them, followed by any obstacles you faced. Finally, give examples of how that person implemented those changes to help the business.
Ability to learn
With the way technology changes it’s no longer good enough to just be great with a tech stack. You need to be able to learn and grow in order to keep up. Organizations are looking for more flexible people and holding interviews that are less focused on a specific technology and more on your ability to problem solve. Becoming technology agnostic is a trend I see continuing to grow as companies look to use the best technology to solve their problems.
How can you demonstrate it? Within an interview you can highlight the different choices in technology you made in previous projects. Even being able to show how you were able to pick up new technologies on a project quickly and how you used it can help. If the role you’re interviewing for has technology, you haven’t worked with taking a quick online class can help show you can pick up on it quickly.
Many people struggle with their ability to admit they don’t know something or even speak about their previous failures. It can be tough to let an interviewer know that you can’t answer their technical question. So instead of acknowledging that, people will try to cover up what they don’t know. What organizations really want is someone who will be transparent in what they don’t know. Organizations want people who can find the balance between trying to solve a problem and asking for help.
How you can demonstrate it? This one is pretty easy as you just need to be open about what you know and don’t know. If it’s a complex problem that you don’t know let them know you don’t have experience with that technology up front. Then take a stab at solving it and be creative in your approach. This both shows you can be transparent but also that you aren’t afraid of a challenge.
When preparing for any interview it’s important to be ready to highlight your qualities. In order to do this, you need examples of how you’ve done it in a previous role. Don’t just bring it at a high level but tie it to the success of the business itself and how you accomplished each step. While these are 5 qualities that organizations look for in a candidate, there are others that are important and might be more aligned to your strengths.
How avansai can help?
By filling out our Career Matrix we can align you with potential opportunities with our clients. Once you secure an interview, we will work with you to help you prepare by giving you insight to the client and what they value. If you need help in preparing for an interview Corey and I are open to doing mock interviews and giving tips.