7 impressive qualities job candidates need to demonstrate in order to get hired

You gotta walk the walk as well as talk the talk. New research has uncovered seven important qualities job candidates need to demonstrate to get hired.
Brenda Wong
Brenda Wong
impressive qualities

We’re willing to bet that most of the careers articles you read are about knowing how to talk the talk. Whether it’s how to format your CV, sussing out your personal brand, or how to become a snazzy networker, it’s definitely important to show off what you got. However, if you secretly can’t walk the walk, your job application can and will fall apart. There are certain qualities job candidates need to demonstrate to get the job, after all.

Koru, an immersive business-training programme founded by Kristen Hamilton, has identified seven qualities you need to develop in order to kick butt in the workplace. These skillsets and mindsets are an indicator of whether you’ll be a top performer. Apparently, the people who go through the Koru programme get hired by places like LinkedIn, Facebook and Yelp. So, get a notebook and pen and start taking notes. Here are the seven identified characteristics you need for job success.

1. Grit

Qualities job candidates need to demonstrate | Grit

Grit is made up of two important things. Firstly, it’s the ability to get back up again after being knocked down. Secondly, it’s being able to stick with a company through tough times.

This quality is understandably desirable to employers. Why? Because there is not a single job in the world that won’t have challenges.

How to demonstrate it: You might be asked about how you have overcome a challenge in your life, or how you worked hard to achieve something. If you have a story about how you had to persevere through a ton of work for success, that’s a great example. For example, needing to crunch a crazy amount of data for a research paper.

2. Teamwork

Qualities job candidates need to have | Teamwork

Guys. We don’t need to explain this one, do we? Teamwork and collaboration is becoming more and more important to employers. According to Debut research, 81% of employers seek candidates who can demonstrate teamwork. Employers are especially keen on whether you can show that you can work with other people – even if they’re being difficult.

How to demonstrate it: Group projects at university don’t really count, as much as you want it to. Unless you can actively show proof that you transcended the ‘forced’ group project situation and turned it into a blazing success, most degree courses will have an element of group work. Essentially, that’s too basic an example.

Better ones? If you were team leader in a society project (such as an ball, charity drive or performance), captain of a sports team, or were elected as a society exec. Remember, you’ll need concrete examples of how you developed this mindset. Had someone causing drama you helped diffuse? Supported a team member when they were falling behind in their work? Those examples will do just great.

3. Ownership

Qualities job candidates need to demonstrate | Ownership

According to Kuro CEO Kristen Hamilton, ownership is about making lemonade out of lemons. It isn’t enough to show a positive attitude during times of adversity. You have to also take the initiative to go, “Welp, that happened. What can I do now to fix this/improve the situation?”

How to demonstrate it: Tell your interviewer about the time you made the most out of bad situation. One example: were you in an internship that gave you literally nothing to do? Tell them how you looked for opportunities during the role and how you made it your own despite having no support.

4. Rigor

Qualities job candidates need to demonstrate | Rigor

It’s time to exercise that grey matter. Rigor tests your detail-orientation, analytical skills and decision-making. Rigor is a highly necessary skill employers are dying to see in their job candidates. In an age where data is king, companies need their employees to be able to take in the huge mountains of information, understand it, and make savvy business decisions.

How to demonstrate it: Ever taken some data or information and made a decision because of the findings? That’s the perfect way to show you have rigor. An example could be as simple as running a survey for your dissertation. Describe how you came to your conclusion, the obstacles you faced, and how your perceptions were changed by the findings. Bingo.

5. Curiosity

Qualities job candidates need to demonstrate | Curiosity

Now this quality is a real heavy-hitter. It’s not just about constantly asking your colleagues ‘why’ – it’s deeper than that. Candidates who display a sense of wonder and curiosity tend to be better informed, have more commercial awareness, and are super creative. Employees who have high levels of curiosity tend to strive for greatness, as they’ll want to know more about how to be better at their job.

How to demonstrate it: Ask a ton of questions after the job interview. It’s a really bad sign if you have no questions at all! Asking shows that you care, and that you’re critically thinking about decisions. We’ve got an awesome list of questions here you could use.

6. Impact

Qualities job candidates need to demonstrate | Impact

Despite what you think, it’s not just about leaving a killer first impression. Job candidates who understand the value of impact can demonstrate just how they’ll elevate and transform the role they’re applying for. Showing you’ve got the ‘impact’ quality means that you have an innate understanding and empathy for the company’s mission and values. It also shows how you can fit into the company’s bigger picture. It paints a very attractive narrative for the employer.

How to demonstrate it: Your interviewer might ask you about a time you’ve effected a positive change on a project. It’s important to describe your impact in an objective way (whether you’ve generated revenue, increased the number of Twitter followers etc.)

7. Polish

Qualities job candidates need to demonstrate | Polish

Arguably, this is the most ‘talk the talk’ quality in the list, but it’s important nonetheless. It’s not only about the way you look, mind you. Your appearance, body language and speech are part of the ‘polish’ quality, but it’s also about your attitude towards the workplace. Do you always check through your emails to make sure they’re free from spelling errors? Do you know how to wade through the murky politics of the workroom? All of these things show you know how to tackle any situation with finesse and grace.

How to demonstrate it: Watch your posture during the job interview. Ask questions, pay attention, and interact with your interviewers to try to establish a personal rapport. And, send a thank you note! This shows you know the importance of a good follow-through.

Tell us, do you think you’ve got what it takes to demonstrate all seven qualities? Got any suggestions and examples? Tweet us @DebutCareers with your best ones.


Images via Unsplash, Giphy

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