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5 Personality Traits that Employers Hire Most

April 25, 2014

The job hiring process is an intricate procedure– there is no one proven method that employers abide by. One employer could be most captivated with your college GPA or your extracurricular activities while another may be more interested in your internships and experience. How do you know what to emphasize while you are being interviewed when you don’t know what they are looking for?

Stockholm-based employer branding firm, Universum, might have an answer. They have accumulated data and research that says that a strong majority of employers prefer a candidate that is a “cultural fit” within the company rather than the interviewee’s skills or experience. One reason for this is due to the many companies’ focus on improving attrition rates, or percent of employees who have left the business over a specific period of time, within the company. In other words, many companies aren’t looking for degrees– they are looking for the “right guy”– but how can the right guy be objectively measured? Don’t worry, Universum has covered that, as well. By identifying what companies are looking for in employees, Universum has been able to conclude the top five personality traits that employers look for:

1. Professionalism

This can be best summed up as one with the character of a professional. This includes: arriving on time, minding your manners/showing others respect and demonstrating a positive attitude. This is a characteristic that can be analyzed the moment a candidate enters the room.

2. High-energy

Also a trait that is clearly visible within the first thirty seconds of meeting someone, many employers are searching for an energetic, go-getter mentality to add to their team. A candidate can best demonstrate high-energy by showing assertiveness in an interview. Show that you are excited to be there– ask questions and be responsive to the interviewer.

3. Confidence

Considered to be the personality trait that candidates and employees are missing most, confidence embodies professionalism and high-energy. Whether or not you possess this trait is can be summed up in your body language. Do you stand up straight when you walk, are you handshakes firm and do you look them in the eyes? All of which are qualities of a poised individual.

4. Self-monitoring

Although this is not a quality that can be assessed on-sight, it is noticeable in a candidate’s resume and interview process. A self-starter of sorts, this personality type has the capability to work independently and without the guidance of direct leadership. To emphasize this characteristic, describe how self-motivation was crucial to a moment of success in your life.

5. Intellectual curiosity

An intellectually-curious candidate would be open to new challenges in the workplace. This trait, defined by problem solving abilities and the ongoing ‘thirst’ for new knowledge, is a strong indicator of how an individual will fare within the company. Those who possess intellectual curiosity are more likely to stay with the organization for the long term, thus contributing to the company’s attrition rate.

So the next time you’re preparing for an interview, don’t forget to think about how your attitude and experience fits within the company’s culture. Confidence is key!

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