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3 Traits Employers Look for in an Employee


2/28/2012 4:52:00 PM

3 Traits Employers Look for in an Employee 3 Components Employers Look for in an Employee
By Bob McIntosh, Career Trainer

Previously we looked at the importance of following up; now we move to three components employers look for in potential employees.

No matter how many ways you slice it, employers are looking for job candidates who fulfill the three major components: you can do the job, will do the job, and will fit in. Although this is not new news, this is something you must consider heavily when you are interviewed.


In an article published in Forbes entitled: Top Executive Recruiters Agree There Are Only Three True Job Interview Questions, hiring authorities are advised to consider the three vital components and to center their questions on them. If employers are urged to keep the three components in mind, it follows that you should as well.

1. Can you do the job?

It’s not only about the technical skills that can be ascertained from your resume, it’s also about leadership, interpersonal skills, and other transferable and personality skills. Note: you’ll be asked question that not only ask you to prove your successes in these areas, but also your failures.

For example: “Tell me about a time when your leadership played an important part in the success of beginning and completing a project. What did you learn from your experience?” Or, “We all have moments of letdown. What moment of letdown in accounting that cost the company money, and what did you learn from this letdown?”

2. Will you Love the job?

Hiring authorities are concerned about job candidates’ motivation. And it’s not only about attracting employees who will work hard; it’s about creating an environment that will challenge new hires?

From the article, Cornerstone International Group CEO, Bill Guy states that employers are changing nature of motivation:

…younger employees do not wish to get paid merely for working hard—just the reverse: they will work hard because they enjoy their environment and the challenges associated with their work…. Executives who embrace this new management style are attracting and retaining better employees.

The lesson for jobseekers is that you should prepare for questions that are geared toward facing challenges and results and productivity, not putting in more hours than your competitors.

3. Can We Tolerate Working With You?

Increasingly more employers are realizing the importance of hiring MBA grads and MBA veteran workers who fit the corporate culture. Their questions at interviews are designed to determine your potential to fit in with the company. The article states a revealing statistic:

40 percent of senior executives leave organizations or are fired or pushed out within 18 months. It’s not because they’re dumb; it’s because a lot of times culturally they may not fit in with the organization or it’s not clearly articulated to them as they joined.

Preparing for Interviews

As employers are advised to find job applicants that meet the three components of a successful employee, you must prepare for interviews with this in mind. This is not a new concept; Top Executive Recruiters Agree There Are Only Three True Job Interview Questions confirms what jobseekers have been told all along. Employers are aware more than ever that it’s not simply the job-related skills that matter; it’s the motivation to work and ability to get long with your fellow MBA grads and veteran workers.

About the Author

Bob McIntosh, CPRW, is a career trainer at the Career Center of Lowell, where he leads more than 20 workshops on the career search. Bob is often the person jobseekers and staff go to for advice on the job search. As well, he critiques resumes and conducts mock interviews. One of his greatest accomplishments is starting a LinkedIn group, which is one of the largest of its kind in the state, and developing three in-high-demand workshops on LinkedIn. Bob’s greatest pleasure is helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Please visit Bob's blog at www.thingscareerrelated.wordpress.com.

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