Resource Centre Job Search Advice Interview Tips: What Employers Want

Interview Tips: What Employers Want

What employers want to know about you You walk into an interview room and find 3 people waiting for you. For a moment, you are tensed. You do not know what to expect. Once you settle down and the real interview begins, questions start coming from all sides and for a moment, you are not […]

What employers want to know about you

You walk into an interview room and find 3 people waiting for you. For a moment, you are tensed. You do not know what to expect. Once you settle down and the real interview begins, questions start coming from all sides and for a moment, you are not sure of what exactly the recruiters want to hear. Currently, all those common interview questions and answers you had rehearsed have evaporated from your head due to the confusion. Well, panicking is a very valid response in such a situation but, you can manage to keep calm and ace the interview.

Recruiters often have a few things they want to hear from a candidate and they are always keen to filter what they consider valuable to them from the candidate’s responses. It has nothing to do with rehearsed responses or a very deep research about the company, even though covering these two areas does set you apart from the crowd. In a competitive job market, recruiters want employees who can easily fit within their culture and deliver results. Yes, you are skilled just like every other applicant for the job but, what sets you apart? Some of the qualities that employers will most likely want to see in you as a candidate include;

You have a strong work ethic

Work ethic

The business world is fast and the ability to get on with it and simply get things done is a very attractive trait to employers. No employer wants to follow you around to do your job. Deadlines are to be respected. A strong work ethic means that you can be trusted with work that has long and short deadlines. It is not enough to say that you can work well under pressure and deliver as expected. Demonstrate it by giving examples of how you get work done on time and how you manage your time. As an entry-level job seeker, you can demonstrate how you always complete your assignments in a timely manner of how you get work done in your environment.

You are a team player

Team work

You might be the best in your field. In fact, you may be the person who can get anything done and your track record speaks of success after success. Or it demonstrates an intrinsic competitive personality. Well, all that is good but it would be great if you can work well within a team.

Employers want to know that you can be trusted when things are going well and you will still help steer the ship towards safe waters when things go wrong. They do not want a person who has great skills but fights with everyone else. So, avoid going too far when talking about what you do. Demonstrate that you are part of a team and then highlight your contribution to the team.

You are a reflective person


Due to tension, you are likely to stutter through the interview in a bid to sell yourself and trying to show how competent you are. This could also be as a result of tension. However, employers want people who pause to think. Being in hurry to answer questions demonstrates tension, impatience, and an inability to sit and reflect.

There is nothing wrong with pausing for 5-10 seconds to think and structure your answer. Remember, there is no time limit and if you are to show that you are the person the recruiter is looking for, you need to ensure that your responses are well thought-out.

You are not pretentious

Interview tips

Of course, part of the interview process is to present yourself as the perfect fit for the job. You want to be on your best behaviour and leave the interviewers with no doubt that you are the best candidate for the job. But, make no mistake, interviewers are also human beings and they want to see the human side of you.

It is okay to laugh a bit if a joke’s cracked. It is okay to be natural and have a good time. Recruiters want to know that you can fit well within the culture of the office and being too stiff makes it hard for them to gauge your suitability for the job. Your ability to also go with the flow shows flexibility and this is important in the business world as it can be very volatile.

You have an ability to grow

Potential for growth

Employers are not looking for the person who can do a job well in the same way for the rest of their lives. They want a person who can adapt to the changing times. A person who can learn new skills and employ it at work. Therefore, when interviewing, demonstrate that you have gained skills and grown over time. Being good at what you do is great but an ability to gain more knowledge and skills and utilise them is very important. Employers want a resourceful person. A person who can be trusted to take on a challenge and grow from it.

You are easy to teach


Everyone makes mistakes but it is important to be able to learn from them and grow. Employers want a person who is ready to be taught and people who do not mind learning constantly. A rigid person cannot grow and this stifles the company. Therefore, demonstrate that you are teachable and you will be a memorable candidate. Employers want to know that you can be corrected and that you are open to help.

In a competitive job market where everyone has the necessary qualifications, setting yourself apart is the only way to get the job you desire. These interview tips will help you say the right things to employers so that you can get the job.

Mueke Katwa
Notification Bell