Landing that Interview: What do Employers Want?


Ability to delegate – The ability to delegate is important for leadership roles and management. If you are asked extensively about your ability to delegate, then portray your answer positively. Delegation is essential and practical in a workplace environment; it is important for keeping everyone on track and helping people reach their full potential. Not to mention, small groups working independently tend to work better and more efficiently because it allows management to work personally with the employees.

When delegating, your instructions should be clear and precise; so that there is no possibility of a misunderstanding of deadlines or some other specification. When asked about how you would go about delegating tasks, explain your knowledge of the system. Outline desired results, look over progress reports at semi-regular to regular intervals, and set deadlines.

If you employer asks you some reasons certain team leaders do not agree with delegation, respond with your honest answer. Some people believe that it would be better if they do everything themselves and not accept help from any of the other members; they may say the other employees are not trustworthy enough or believe that he or she is not qualified.

When attempting to secure a job that requires skill in delegation, make sure you communicate that you believe each co-worker is capable of more and is full of potential. Most co-workers like learning new things or changing up their work routine; many desire more responsibility and the interviewee would be well advised to bring these things into account.

Ambition – Ambition is an extremely valued job trait for many employers. However, when you are displaying your ambition to your potential employer, make sure that you demonstrate that you are not only ambitious, but also realistic and level-headed. When questioned about ambition, this is your opportunity to show your enthusiasm, desire to succeed, and persistence. During the interview, make sure that if you are asked about the company's ambition that you come across as optimistic and knowledgeable about the company. Having knowledge about your company's past achievements would come in handy in this instance. You may be asked a question about your past heroes. Keep your heroes in mind and list some of the qualities you aspire to have that you admire in your hero/heroes.

You will probably also be asked about past goals that you have achieved, perhaps in the past year. The employer will try to detect if you have practical success with your own goals, in order to determine if your goals for the company will also succeed.

Analytical Skills – Analytical skills are also another biggie in the working world. People who have high analytical talent tend to discover efficient solutions that leave others stumped as to how he or she came to said solution. People are often surprised at the usefulness of having someone with analytical tendencies on a team. An employer may ask you about a time when you used your analytical skills to discover a more efficient solution. You should respond with a time when you were having a hard time getting through a project, but took a second to analyze the situation and came up with a better solution, resulting in you completing your project. An employer may also ask you about a time when you used reason and logic to solve a problem, so have a few examples ready.

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Your ability to digest and organize information into useful facts may also be questioned. These skills include filtering out irrelevant facts and information, then compiling useful facts and figures into a logical, fluid format.

Assertiveness – There is a fine line between assertiveness and hotheadedness, and employers know this. They will be on the lookout for signs that indicate an interviewee may take "assertiveness" too far. When testing you for your assertive abilities, employers want to know if and when you have stood up for yourself or your beliefs, if you did that in a non-confrontational way or dealt with it smoothly. Employers may ask you about a time you personally motivated your colleagues and boosted morale. While you give your answer, employers may watch to see how confident and positive you are.

Awareness to Detail – Employers will be looking to find out if you are quality conscious, you understand the importance of time management techniques, understand the importance of deadlines, and that you do not give in when obstacles may surface. Your employer may ask you if you always double-check your work. S/he will be looking to see if you are aware of the quality process and that you would try to deliver an impeccable project. Employers will be noting your quality standards, attention to detail, and your personal responsibility to your work. You may also be evaluated for your ability to work under short, pressurized deadlines.

Career Goals – When employers are evaluating your career goals, they are checking to see if you are genuine about your interest in the company, and if you see the company intertwined with your future. They are, once again, on the lookout for your enthusiasm, your commitment to your own personal goals, and how sure you are of your purpose in the company. They may ask you where you see yourself 5 years from now, and are looking to see if the company is still in your plans. They may ask you that out of all the careers, why you want this one in particular. Interviewees who are taken seriously give answers that are quick, definite, and adamant in their explanation.

Cooperation Skills – Employers testing you for your cooperation skills will be looking to determine if you are a "team player" and if your answers to their questions indicate a tendency to cooperate or a tendency to be uncooperative. They may ask you about your willingness to help your coworker, even if you are more knowledgeable in a certain area. They will be looking for people who can keep relationships with coworkers and superiors healthy even through some conflict. Employers may also ask you about a time you held back or yielded to a coworker out of respect for others and self-control. Can you come up with solutions that appease an entire team of people?

Coaching Ability – Your employer may want to know what procedures you use to judge the ability of your co-workers. They will want to know if you help your colleagues perform to the best of their abilities. You should be able to detect the potential talent and abilities in coworkers and encourage these attributes. Examples where you gave some improvised training to a subordinate or coworker would come in helpful in this situation, and try to make your examples as specific as possible. The employer will be looking to hear that you have provided some on-the-job training. If you have not provided any training to subordinates, do your best to appear helpful and team-orientated.

Confidence – Your employer may want to know how you define self-confidence. Your attitude should indicate whether or not you have a realistically positive view of yourself and the situations. Employers are looking for candidates who trust their own abilities, have a moderate sense of control in their lives, and believe in their own ability to achieve their own personal desires. Employers may ask you how confident you are. When you are answering this question, pay close attention to all of the signals you are giving out through body language. Be extra careful to maintain eye contact and speak confidently and coherently. You may be asked to explain situations that have exposed your confidence. The employer will determine whether you can deal with all the diverse situations of the company, and if you can handle all of the issues that come with this position in a calm, confident manner. The employer may also ask you if you think your friends would describe you as a confident person. He or she will be looking for non-verbal queues of dishonesty. Keep in mind during the course of the interview that there is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Coming off as arrogant is often worse than coming off as not-so-confident, so be careful.

Conflict –An employer may ask you to tell him or her about a situation in which you were given job instructions and you were not able to understand the instructions. In your response, you should indicate that you believe clarifying issues is not anything to be ashamed of. You should show that you are more concerned with getting the job done right, that you see conflict as something normal that can be dealt with smoothly, and not as a personal attack. Working with people whom you do not get along with well can be a challenge. You should explain that you put the team first, and indicate that you are not intimidated by these situations. You should seek to resolve differences and make sure that you do not come across as having some kind of grudge. You should be able to prove to your employer that you try your best to be helpful to your coworkers. You may be asked to tell about a situation where you found out about a serious mistake by a coworker. You should seem as if you aren't pointing the finger, but at the same time, you aren't letting the mistake slip by unnoticed. You may also be asked to describe a time when there was a disagreement with a colleague and how it played out. You should try to show that you know how to resolve issues and that you concentrate on the actual issues, and not taking things personally.

Creativity – How often you come up with new systems and different styles of works can be an indicator of how creative you are. A creative interviewee will be enthusiastic to discuss challenges that need extensive thinking. You should tell your interviewer about a time when you found a new way of doing things, or a time you came up with an innovative solution to a company problem. You should demonstrate that you are comfortable with taking risks and trying new solutions; you should be able to show that you go above and beyond the traditional way of thinking to get things done.

Customer Service –When applying for positions that require high skills in the customer service area, the interviewee should show that they are willing to put in the extra effort for a customer. You should show that you can manage routine customer complaints without being dominated and without being rude. Interviewees should be mindful of company policies, but willing to try their best to help the customer out. You should be able to take the initiative and you should be capable of changing current systems to the benefit of the customer.

Decision Making – The candidate should show that they have the presence of mind and sensibility to evaluate and make a decision independently in any situation. Candidates should also demonstrate the ability to go elsewhere for guidance and advice, if he or she is facing a difficult situation. The interviewee should demonstrate that he or she likes to make decisions quickly and that s/he is able to implement a decision in a timely fashion.

Determination – You should show that you have a strong character and enough willpower to face anything if you feel you are correct. You should be able to articulate your argument in a clear, logical way. Your answers to any questions your interviewer may ask should show that you have a clear point of view and you express yourself whenever the need arises, no matter the consequences. You should be able to take the initiative to prove a point. You should also show that you have a strong, ethical viewpoint. At some point in time, if you have taken on additional work to help the company or help an individual team's performance, you should tell your interviewer about this time and explain the results.

Diplomacy –A diplomatic candidate is well-tempered, and can handle themselves with poise and dignity in even the most frustrating situations. You should show that you are not willing to let your personal ego get in the way of being professional. Knowing the value of positive criticism and taking criticism well would come in handy here as well. You should have the ability to balance confidentiality and communication with your co-workers, but you can keep information confidential, if necessary, and you don't have any issues with that. You should also show that you are aware of all your behavior while interacting with customers and co-workers; you should be aware that any mistakes you make can create future problems, and therefore be cautious when dealing with customers.