Job searching is a stressful process. You might find yourself even more stressed thinking of how you stack up against other candidates. Although you have never met the other applicants, your confidence begins to diminish as you go over everything you lack. Perhaps you do not have as much experience as you would like in the industry and, therefore, lack a few skills listed on the job description. Or maybe your alma mater is not a top-tier school that makes hiring managers jump out of their seat. How nice would it be if you could have all those things? You would get that job for sure, right? Not quite. The truth is that what you think you lack may actually not be what employers really look for in a candidate.
The perfect candidate that has all the right skills, can say all the right things, went to the right school, and worked at the right jobs does not exist. Employers know that, and they know that you are not perfect either. Instead, what do companies really look for when hiring for a position?
An open mind
How fun would it be to work with someone who thinks they know everything and refuses to listen to others’ opinions? You would probably agree that it doesn’t sound like it would be much fun. Similarly, employers want candidates that are interested in learning about new ideas without judgment and are ready to try different things. Those who immediately knock down unfamiliar perspectives simply because they are strange and new can greatly damper a team’s creativity and ability to tackle new problems.
During a job interview, give examples of situations where you have listened to others and considered new angles to solve a dilemma. You can also demonstrate an open mind by showing that you are constantly learning and keeping up with the latest industry trends.
A can-do attitude
Simply put, a can-do attitude is optimism and enthusiasm to get tasks done. Whether or not you successfully finish a project can greatly depend on your attitude. When an obstacle comes up, do you typically shy away and consider the many ways you can fail? Or do you quickly identify solutions and think of an efficient course-of-action? If you are constantly pessimistic about different problems in life, it can drain the spirit of those around you. Your colleagues and supervisors do not want to spend their time cheering you up and convincing you to get those tasks done. Instead, they want you to be the one to inspire others to achieve objectives and embrace challenges along the way.
Collaboration is a huge part of the modern workplace. Even if your job is mostly independent work or you are an introvert who prefers quiet thinking time, it is still essential to demonstrate that you can work well with others when needed.
A team player is not necessarily the loudest person who shares the most ideas or the smartest one who naturally takes the lead. It is the person who can listen well, give thoughtful pointers, is reliable, and has a commitment to completing the task with his/her teammates. A team player will give credit where it is due and makes sure that others in the team feel respected and appreciated. Keep these in mind when sharing past experiences in your interview.
Enthusiasm and desire
An employee who is enthusiastic and excited about working for a company will go above and beyond to make up for any shortcomings he/she may have. Even if you possess all the right skills and backgrounds, lack of desire for the position and company can put you out of the running. An employer will not hire someone who does not want to be there.
How can you demonstrate enthusiasm? A great strategy is to learn as much as you can about the company and make an effort to truly understand their work in the industry. You can exhibit desire to succeed in the position by mentioning how you continue learning even after work hours (such as attending classes, being active in professional organizations, etc). Remember that it is more powerful to show rather than tell.
Bishop and Co. can take some of the stress out of your job search. If you are interested in learning more about our job listings and how you can be a Bishop candidate, please contact us today.