What Makes An Attractive Candidate? 5 Tips to Being the Candidate They Want To Hire

You’ve edited your resume, written a great cover letter and made contact with a terrific potential employer. After passing the first hurdles presented by phone screens and written essay questions, you are in front of your perspective employer for an interview. But, what are they really looking for? Being a compelling candidate has as much to do with intrinsic qualities you bring as with your skills and education. It is the energy or intangibles as much as the tangibles that make you a compelling candidate; projecting enthusiasm, self-awareness, focus, self-confidence, and team fit, can make you the candidate of choice.

Enthusiasm: Enthusiasm comes from the root word, en-theos, or with energy. Communicating with energy and projecting a quality of vitality and aliveness is crucial to being attractive to your employer. Maintaining eye contact, sitting forward in your seat, a firm handshake, a smile, and warm responsiveness all depict enthusiasm. Be prepared with questions and background information on the position. This demonstrates your enthusiasm both for the company and the position. Greet each interview as an opportunity to connect with energy and vitality.

Self Awareness: As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”. You’ve asked the probing questions to know what your skills, abilities, talents and strengths are, what you’ve accomplished, what you’re proud of. You can articulate what you are good at, what you want to do to further your career and how you want to get there.

Focus: Know what you want and be focused on your goals and the qualities that you offer that help solve the problems of the company. Focus indicates you have career targets and aim for them. You are sharp and crisp in your direction. You know what you are looking for and find it by asking critical questions and assessing job fit during the interview. Maintaining focus on what you want and where you want to go will also streamline your job search by keeping you aimed at your goal.

Self Confidence: You know your own value and that you are worthy of being hired. You are articulate about what you offer and project confidence in your ability to apply your knowledge and skill to make a critical difference to your employer. Project self-confidence with your posture and a calm certainty.

Team Fit: Research the company culture and be prepared to be part of it. Demonstrate yourself as someone they want to spend time with each day by being authentic and honest. Greet people with warmth and energy, projecting a likeability and accessibility that communicates team fit. Even in a company that employs virtual contributors or where individual effort is emphasized, team fit plays a part in weaving together a coherence department.

By bringing your genuine enthusiasm, your focused attention, your self worth and self awareness and your ability to fit in to your job search, your changes of joining a new company are greatly enhanced. We are all drawn to people who project confidence, energy and drive – it’s a winning combination.


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