What Employers Are REALLY Looking For In Job CandidatesJenna Arcandon April 14, 2023 at 3:00 pm Work It Daily


The longer your job search drags on, the more you start to doubt your interviewing abilities. Or worse—you start to doubt your skills and experience as a job candidate, which in turn affects your interview confidence.

You may begin to ask yourself, “What are employers really looking for in a job candidate?” The good news is we can help you understand just what you need to convey in a job interview to stand out to employers and finally land a job.

Employers want you to answer three questions they won’t ask you directly. So, it is your job to answer those unasked interview questions in order to move on in the hiring process.

Here are three things you should be sharing in your job interview to make the right impression and send the correct message to potential employers:

1. How Do You Save Or Make Companies Money?

The first thing you need to convey in your job interview is how your skills and expertise save or make a company money. You are a business-of-one. As an employee, you provide a service to an employer. So, in your job interview, you have to prove to the employer that the services you can provide for the company will either save or make them money.

It comes down to your ability to justify the initial cost it would take to hire you. Most professionals don’t know that it costs an employer between 130% to 140% of their salary to hire them. It’s a big investment for a company to hire a new employee. That’s why you need to convey your efficiency and effectiveness as an employee in job interviews.

To prove you could save or make a potential employer money, quantify your past experience (on your resume and in the interview) and cite examples of how you’ve saved or made your previous/current employer money. Once a potential employer understands that you will provide a good return on investment, they will automatically consider you a great candidate for the position.

2. How Do You Like To Deliver Value?

Make sure you talk about how you deliver value too. No employee performs a job the same way. We all work on tasks differently and go about accomplishing goals with different processes and strategies. If a company doesn’t think you’ll be able to do the job the way they want you to do the job, you probably won’t be offered the position.

In order to explain how you deliver value, you need to know exactly what you do and how you do it. During a job interview, let the employer take a peek inside your brain to help them get a better idea of how you would perform certain tasks that the job requires.

A great way to explain how you deliver value is by answering behavioral interview questions with the STAR technique. Begin answering a behavioral interview question by describing the situation or task you were faced with. Then, explain how you took action, walking the employer through your decision-making process. Finally, quantify your results so the employer can clearly see how you deliver value.

(If you’re not sure how you deliver value, take this free quiz! You may be surprised by the results.)

3. Why Do You Feel Connected To The Business?

The last thing you absolutely want to convey to an employer is how you feel connected to their organization. Consider the company culture and their mission, and use that to your advantage.

During a job interview, it’s important to explain to an employer how you feel like you’re a part of their “tribe.” Why do you want to be a part of the team of people dedicated to solving this specific problem? You can also talk about why you admire their products and services, why you understand and identify with their customers, and what you love about the way they do business.

Tie all your pre-interview research back to what excites you about working for the company. Employers want to hire people who would integrate well within their organization. By talking about the above factors, you’ll connect with employers on a deeper level and show that you’re passionate about the job. Therefore, you’ll come across as a great cultural fit.

You can also begin to convey that connection to a potential employer in your disruptive cover letter. A disruptive cover letter catches an employer’s attention and gets them excited about you as a candidate. So, even before you walk through the door to your interview, an employer will already feel a connection to you.

Knowing what to say in an interview in order to make the right impression can feel incredibly overwhelming, maybe even impossible. If you follow these three tips, you’ll be sure to send the correct message to an employer, and ultimately increase your chances of landing the job.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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