What Qualities Make You a Good Candidate?

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April 14, 2020
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min read

All job candidates think they have what it takes to get the job done. How you express that during your job interview can make a world of difference though. When preparing your answer, you want to think about the qualities you have that make you a good candidate.

Consider the question why do you feel you are qualified for this position? Below, we will help you answer this common job interview question and stand out from the other candidates.

What are the qualities of a good candidate?

Make sure you have a strong understanding of what qualities make a good employee. People often rattle off skills they think the hiring manager wants to hear. All job candidates will reference qualities but how you incorporate them into your answer will help you stand apart from the others.

First, let's discuss what qualities you should include when answering the interview questions.

Job skills

When mentioning your job skills, focus on qualities that affect your job performance. For example:

  • Degrees or certificates relevant to the job description
  • Programs you have mastered
  • Awards or achievements you have received
  • Any training or courses you have completed

Others applying to the role might also have similar qualities, so you want to provide context to your background. Have examples from past work experiences that show you know how to put these skills to work.

Soft skills

This is how you apply your expertise in a work environment. Hiring Managers are looking for a good mix of job skills and soft ones. Here is a list of the most common soft skills that every job candidate will want to reference during their interview.

  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Adaptability 
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Work ethic
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership qualities

It may seem like common sense that you would have these skills, but people often fail to mention them in a compelling way. Every employer is looking to identify the strengths candidates have. These include both personality and work style. How you will fit into the company culture is just as important as your work experience.

How to answer what attributes make you a desirable candidate

Make sure you don't just list a bunch of job and personality traits you think the people interviewing you want to hear. You want your response to be memorable and genuine. Discussing past experiences is the best way to demonstrate you have what it takes to get the job done.

Here are some helpful phrases to incorporate into your answer. Depending on your individual experiences, share an example after each statement. The interviewer is looking for a person who has the experience that aligns with the job posting.

  • At my previous company, I was responsible for managing a three million dollar budget.
  • My work ethic matches the company's values.
  • While I work hard, I also understand the value of having fun in the workplace.
  • I have worked under extreme stress and pressure without losing my cool.
  • My problem-solving skills have helped to increase productivity.
  • I can meet tight deadlines with my time management skills.
  • I have led a team of ten plus people at all skill levels.

Virtually all job candidates will have some characteristics the company is looking for. The job market is competitive and many people will have similar backgrounds. Take time to prepare for your interview to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

The best advice we can provide is to do your homework before your interview. Visit the company's website and social media accounts. Search if there are recent press releases or articles on the organization.

Also, have a list of questions you want to ask the hiring manager. Smart questions show you can take the initiative and enjoy learning. It solidifies your interest in the company and shows you have enthusiasm for the role.

Here are a few questions to keep in your back pocket.

  • What challenges can I expect to face?
  • Are there other job requirements that were not listed on the job posting?
  • Can you share some past projects the team has worked on?
  • What goals would I have in the first few months?
  • Are there recent successes team members have had?
  • Will there be opportunities for growth?

Final Thoughts

When thinking about the attributes that make you a desirable applicant, remember to mention ways you have had success in the past. Your next opportunity is waiting for you, so prepare for your interviews and you will be a company's newest employee in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I demonstrate my qualities effectively during a job interview?

To demonstrate your qualities effectively in a job interview, provide specific examples of past experiences where you've showcased these attributes. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses, ensuring you highlight the impact of your actions. Tailor your examples to align with the job description and the company's values to show you're a good fit for the role.

Can you give an example of a quality that might not be directly related to the job description but is still valuable to employers?

Adaptability is a quality highly valued by employers, even if it's not explicitly mentioned in the job description. It demonstrates your ability to handle change, learn new skills quickly, and remain flexible in a dynamic work environment. Sharing instances where you successfully adapted to new systems, processes, or team structures can illustrate this trait effectively.

How do soft skills contribute to being a good candidate for a job?

Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, are crucial because they facilitate effective collaboration and adaptability in the workplace. Employers look for candidates with strong soft skills because they are harder to teach than technical skills and are essential for maintaining a positive work environment and achieving long-term success. Highlighting these skills with concrete examples can significantly strengthen your candidacy.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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