5 Qualities and Characteristics to Help You Nail Your Next Job Interview

People having business meeting.

People having business meeting.

Let’s face it when you’re looking for a job, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the interview process. What do recruiters look for in your answers? How can you make yourself look like the best candidate for the job? Below, we compiled five tips to help you showcase a character that recruiters want and allow you to walk away from an interview feeling like you did your best. It doesn’t require you learning anything special, it does, however, require you to prepare in advance and fine-tune your answers before your interview- after all practice makes perfect.

Job recruiters already have a type of character traits in mind when they meet you, as they interview you they’re looking to see whether you have the qualities and characteristics they want. Although knowledge varies depending on the job you’re applying for, recruiters still look for how you’ll fit within their company. As you practice your interview answers ahead of time, keep in mind these essential character traits that people want to see in you.

Where Your Motivation Lies

“Why are you looking for a new career opportunity?” and “How far will you commute?” are common during job interviews because recruiters are looking for people who will fit their culture. Be upfront about your motivations, expectations, preferences, and any flexible work options that you want.

Be Confident

People aren’t just looking for you to know how to do something; they want to see that you’re confident that you know how to do something. Describing your biggest career accomplishments and contributions to previous jobs can help you present a stronger case on why they should hire you. Prepare anecdotes ahead of time and be ready to clearly illustrate specific examples of how you made your last job a better place- think, “Did I streamline a process or reduce cost?” “Did I lead a team to quantifiable success?” and then answer those questions in a succinct but detailed manner.

Be Prepared

According to research done in 2017, the average length of a job interview process is 23.8 days. [1] However, some companies work faster, quickly screening their employee candidates, looking for potential employees who are already prepared for the next step of the interview process. Have current, relevant references- use email addresses or even LinkedIn to make it easy on your potential employer, yourself, and your referrals.

Be prepared to discuss your salary at any time, know how much you’re worth and when asked, give an informed answer that will allow the recruiter to match you against other prospects.

Be Honest About Failing

One of the most common questions for hiring managers to ask is, “What was your biggest failure?” To answer this successfully, you should be prepared to be honest about areas that are challenging to you. Self-awareness is a skill that many jobs are looking for these days, know your weaknesses ahead of time.

After you relate how you failed in the past, share with the recruiter how you overcame the problem. Maybe you attended a training course to strengthen your weak points, maybe you saw your shortcoming right away and created a plan to stop it from happening again. No matter how badly you failed or what you did to address the situation, don’t place blame on others.

Trading Jobs

Currently, unemployment rates are at one of their lowest in years. Due to this, recruiters have taken to “poaching,” or finding employees from other companies and offering them more benefits and a higher salary if they switch jobs. If this happens to you, be professional, respectful, and be straightforward in what it will take to get you to change jobs. If you don’t want to switch jobs, be honest in telling the recruiter that, positive communication is key for maintaining a strong reputation.


  1. ^How Long Does it Take to Hire? Interview Duration in 25 Countries – Glassdoor Economic Research.” Glassdoor Economic Research, 9 Aug. 2017, www.glassdoor.com/research/time-to-hire-in-25-countries. (go back  ↩)

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