A degree from a top-notch college isn’t necessarily enough when it comes to succeeding in the workplace. Nor is years of experience on the job.
Putting on that freshly-pressed outfit, running through the answers to some commonly asked interview questions, and practising your professional gestures - you’re determined to crack your first job interview. It’s tempting to transform yourself into the person that you think the company wants you to be—but is this just what it takes to get hired for your first job?
While it’s true that one must always showcase their best self in a job interview, you might want to place a little more emphasis on intangible but important qualities that enable you to work and interact with the people around you effectively.
Here are 5 things that companies are looking for young talent to possess. Be an active listener
Preparing to communicate and write efficiently is important for any job or an interview. However, what most candidates forget is that the best communicators are good listeners – that’s the difference.
The easiest way to gain the hiring manager’s confidence is by listening more than talking. It is not just crucial to match the requirements, but also that you can work well with others, managing your time properly. Being an open and reliable communicator is the first step.
Good listeners don’t think about what they’re going to say next when the other person is speaking. They ask follow-up questions and make the conversation more about the person.
Employers want to see deep emotional intelligence, which is closely connected to cultural competence. This enables candidates and potential employees see the world through the eyes of others and understand different perspectives. New employees must have the ability to relate to whomever they’re talking to – no matter if customers or co-workers. It’s a critical ingredient to building relationships and building trust.
Without real empathy, most conversations end up being transactional. Most customers and clients won’t remember what you’ve said to them, they’ll remember how you’ve made them feel.
In a dynamic work environment where skills stay relevant only a few years, it is key for young talent to show adaptability and comfort with ambiguity. Senior executives have indicated that flexibility was most lacking among young talent and senior executives - and most likely to be found among recent graduates.
Creativity is key
Being creative often means finding ways to solve problems with limited resources. In today’s workplace creativity stands more for problem solving. It is to be able to transcend traditional ideas and come up with new rules, interpretations, and ways of doing things. An excellent way to display this trait is through answering questions in your job interview. Take a step back and look at those questions as a problem and offer creative solutions.
Stay open to feedback
If you won’t listen to feedback on your own work, you’ll never grow. Not to mention, you’ll make yourself very unapproachable. You’ve probably heard this before, but we can’t stress it enough! People will not only be less inclined to work with you, but they also may discount your advice in return.
If your initial response to feedback is: “You’re wrong”! Stop it – being defensive won’t help you grow. You must be open to feedback from your boss but also from colleagues and subordinates – there’s always something to learn from everyone.
Check out what these CEOs said about things they are looking for in young talent.