What employers really look for in an interview?

Several times we might have to actually analyse what it is that a recruiter or a company owner is looking for before he hires you? In the excitement or the stress of the process of the interview, we sometimes forget to address crucial questions that actually determine whether you get hired or not.

The potential questions and answers often have to be set in your own mind before you can convince another person that you really want the job. There’s people that get into industries that may turn out to be completely different to what their initial expectations were. Some people are resilient and make a career change and move on if they find that early on in the career; but for others it might mean prioritising on practical financial needs and staying the course for a while before making a change. Irrespective of which category you fall under, it is vital for you to exhibit how much you want the job and how persistent you will be if the going gets tough.

In the interview, the employer or hiring manager is more interested in knowing if you will meet their company’s needs more than just satisfying your own mega aspirations. The best candidate is usually the person who comes across as someone whose passions are being met while prioritising and fulfilling the organisation’s needs. It is key to look at any job from the employer’s perspective and establish what it is they are looking for and addressing that. If you can convince them that you will give them what they want, they will most often give you what you want.

Interview questions are not always asked directly but cleverly masked to investigate your true intentions, motivations, loyalty, reliability and passions. Some of the questions they have in mind are blatantly answered by your level of preparation, presentation, and the motivation you put forward.

The key is to show the employer how badly you want it, without sounding needy while being genuine throughout;

Some of the other things you need to put across is:
How interested you are in the company?
Are you motivated by the passion for the job more than the monetary aspects of it?
How has your behaviour or attitude been in situations of conflict or problems in the past?
How positive and resilient you can be in challenging situations?
What’s your attitude towards work, other team members and your level of persistence?
How teachable and open you are?
How capable you are to perform what they require and would you go the extra mile if needed?

In summary, preparation is the key. It’s a good idea to set aside an hour just to go over all the questions and answers mentally; research interview tips available online; and ensure you have all the interview details(address, contact person, phone number) before you leave.  If you are unsure about something, it is always a good idea to ask the recruiter for clarification – dress code, parking, expectations, etc. Good luck!

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