If you were to interview someone for a job, what would you be looking for?

@laydee (12813)
Philippines
June 17, 2010 8:26pm CST
I was asked by a student the other day on how she could prepare for an interview (since she's graduating and would be hunting for a job soon). She says, she'd like to know what are important or key points in resumes and job applications that would lead her for an interview and soon hiring. Therefore, my dear mylotters. If you were tasked to interview someone for a job, what would you be looking for? Personality? Technical Skills? I was also wondering if the Transcript of Records or grade sheets have much bearing on the matter? Further, do you consider extra-curricular and co-curricular activities as vital for a successful job application? What would your advice be?
11 responses
@kqara0 (28)
• Canada
18 Jun 10
It depends on the kind of the job. Assuming that it's a job that requires more technical skills and experience than people skills, I would be looking for: -Ability to explain why she's interested at getting the job, her motivation and a clear idea of what the job involves. -Ability to succinctly describe her skills and to have an idea on possible application of those skills on a practical level. -Be informed about the position, the project and the company. I would expect the above points to be included on a cover letter, which would be the first screening for applicants that might be asked for an interview. On the resume, I'd expect a short, clear and succinct description of her academic and professional experience, without fillers and unnecessary details. I would expect her to mention grades and qualifications. I would be interested in seeing additional skills, like languages and computer skills (assuming that computer skills are not the primary skills required). I would personally ignore any extra-curricular activities mentioned and I would possibly consider them fillers on a weak CV.
1 person likes this
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
20 Jun 10
Good thoughts there friend. I especially appreciate the fact that you mentioned that it's foremost important to explain why they are interested in getting the job. I do appreciate a direct-to-the-point resume without a lot of fillers and unnecessary details. Why do you think extra-curricular activities would be ignored and considered fillers of a weak CV?
@kqara0 (28)
• Canada
20 Jun 10
Maybe I should have phrased this more clearly: I would not be interested in extra-curriculum activities, just in relevant skills and experience, so, in an otherwise strong candidate, I would just ignore this part. I am looking for a person who can do a certain quality job, I am not much interested on what skills or interests they have that are not relevant with the position. If the CV was weak, I could still give the candidate a chance (we were all inexperienced and with not particularly strong skills in our first job), but I'd be very wary of anything that could be considered simply fillers - I'd prefer a short and on point CV of someone inexperienced than a long one with few points worth considering for the position and many fillers - it would seem as an attempt at veiling the lack of experience.
@zralte (4186)
• India
18 Jun 10
Having my own company for 5 years, I have interviewed quite a few people. The first thing I look for is Communication Skill (I have interviewed mainly for Customer Care). I always ask them to talk about a topic for at least two or three minutes. The next thing is personality. If they are outgoing or not, and what kind of hobby they have, etc. This is mainly to see if they are going to be serious about their job and if they would be getting along with other workers. I never looked at their educational qualification. I don't need a piece of paper to tell me what they are capable of, I need to see the proof. Experience is much better. In regard to your student, since she is newly graduate, she can list out some project she has done to let the employer know what she can do. The worst thing she can do is lie on her Resume. It is best to be honest. Extra-curricular or Co-curricular activities are very important to me. It tells me about what kind of a person the candidate is and if I will get along with her or not, and indirectly tells me if she is going to enjoy the job.
1 person likes this
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
20 Jun 10
I see that one of the key points in your response is that you want to know if the person would be getting along with co-workers. I usually forget that at times, I always think whether or not the person could actually do the job and just brush-off 'getting along with co-workers' which is indeed a weakness of mine. It certainly is true that it's best to be honest in resumes. What do you think of people or applicants who are not really into extra-curricular activities? Does it have a direct impact on their applications? Thank you so much for your insights.
@zralte (4186)
• India
20 Jun 10
When you do lots of interviews, you get to know if they can really do the job or not from the way they speak about the job or with a well placed questions, you can deduct that. In any case, if you do take them and they cannot do the job, you have the probationary period in which you can let them go again. Again, this is just from my experience and to do with my business. I don't hire many people, nor do I need to, with special technical skills. I have hired only few people with technical skills, and I only employ experienced people for those. With the extra-curricular activities, it's hard to generalise. It all depends on the person. When you meet face to face, you can usually tell what kind of people they are. And if they can substantiate that with extra-curricular activities, great. Some people don't have any extra-curricular activities for any reason, but they have good personality, and well, likeable characters, if you know what I mean. I am not sure if I am making myself clear or not, I am so bad at writing and well, talking about things. What I am trying to say is that, the most important thing is Personality. The best thing anyone can do is appear confident, and well, be honest. And always always make sure that all the achievements, however small, are in the resume. Always put your best achievement first. I hope your student get a good job.
@takie23 (142)
18 Jun 10
If is were to be my own company, what I will be looking for while doing an interview would be 'good attitude'. Of course, good education and achievement is something on the base that I would look for, but they are useless without the right attitude. ;)
1 person likes this
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
20 Jun 10
How would you find the 'right attitude' during an interview? They could just all be faking that they're positive and are well-rounded.
@takie23 (142)
21 Jun 10
You can find the 'right attitude' any time any day. All you need is a person who can read body language. Not everybody could, but for the ones that can, they will identify the fake attitude right away.
@joyce318 (139)
• China
18 Jun 10
If I was to interview someone for a job, I would employe someone by judging her talking, thoughts and ability. She/he should be sincere to interview the job.
1 person likes this
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
18 Jun 10
How do you suggest that she create an application or resume worth going for an interview then?
@joyce318 (139)
• China
18 Jun 10
First it is must be serious to express your thoughts. At the early time, you should create valve for your company and don't ask so many demands at first. should have own opinions when answer questions. second, you must understand the products or service of the company and master the simple knowledge in this field that you want to stay. Third, keep a good impression by the interviewer. not the beautiful clothes, only be generous
• India
8 Jul 10
If I were to interview someone for a job,my first priority would be to understand how much does the prospect know about himself.I would first ask him to tell something about himself and let him speak as much as possible.Allowing the candidate to speak freely gives you important clues about his psyche - whether he is shy or forthright,whether he is confident or shaky,what does he think of himself,what is his approach to life because,it is this which will determine his interest towards his job.Overall,it helps you form a fair idea about the candidate and what he is up to.Only when I am satisfied,will I probe the candidate as regards his educational qualifications as they are but decorations to the positive personality of the candidate which I determined in the first step and made a selection as it is the personality that matters and all other things are secondary.If the candidate has job experience,I would probe him as regards the nature of the job,what was his role there,and,why did he want to leave that job.Only after being satisfied, will I try to determine how does he fit in my company structure and ask his salary expectations.
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
13 Oct 10
Thank you for that response. Indeed it is important that we know ourselves more than others. It's good that you try to do that when interviewing someone. However, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes because I tend to lose track of time when I am told to talk about myself. I wouldn't know how to start. What do you think is the best way to start that?
@aguas_aj (501)
• Philippines
19 Jun 10
For personality, I'll be looking for a person who is organize. An organize person can easily locate and manage her/his time and skills than a person who mess around in her work station. As for Technical Skills, Some one who can easily learn from machines to other stuffs.. It would also be a good thing to look at her/his organizational achievements for you can see if she participates and take achievements as part of learning or just some one who just sits and wait till somethings is to be given to her. You can see what kind of a person an applicant is through her own achievements. or at least sometimes.. Grades are not so relevant, it is what she/he learned and grasp that is what is necessary,for it is the one that is to be applied on work.
1 person likes this
@laydee (12813)
• Philippines
20 Jun 10
I do agree with being organized as a good personality trait an applicant must have. However, how does one see if the person is organized first and foremost? Remember that we are not living with the person, we only see the person's cover letter and resume at the moment. Further, you have a very good explanation as to the technical skills and that it's really great to find someone who knows what they're doing and doesn't wait for people to spoon-feed them into something. It's a good thing to be noted. As for grades, you said that they're not necessary as long as one has learned and grasped it. How do you know they have truly learned something? We're talking about the 'application' proper here.
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
30 Jun 10
This is a very interesting question - thanks for asking! I've never interviewed anyone before because I'm not in that position of my company and never have been, but I've been to plenty of interviews. I'd like to say I'm experienced at going to interviews and have a lot of experience there, but I'd love the opportunity to interview someone. I don't think extra-curricular activities really contribute to the interview as much as other factors, but on the other hand, I don't think it hurts to for instance include them in the discussion or on the resume if it in some way pertains to the position itself. If I were interviewing someone for a position at my company, I would probably ask a lot of scenario-based questions...I don't know the technical term for these kinds of questions, but basically I would ask the interviewee what they would do in a certain situation. Hopefully they would answer truthfully because their answers would have a lot to do with whether or not I would hire them. I think scenario-based situations can catch the interviewee off guard, so that would be a great determining factor of how good an employee that person would be. I like people who can think on their feet and make a quick decision. I think it's good overall to ask a variety of questions at the interview, though, to get a well-rounded idea of what that person is like. I don't have that much insight on the other end of an interview since, as I said earlier, I haven't been the one to interview, but I think the more information and insight gained from the interviewee, the better! I would be looking for someone who is first of all honest above all else. I would also like someone who is reliable and hard working - a great work ethic is important. He or she must have strong references - at least three at the minimum. Overall, I would just have to wing it and see if I like the person or not and think they would be easy to work with, train, etc. The interview is something that you have to see when you get to it. My biggest thing, though, is honesty. Beyond that, I think there is a lot of potential if the person has a strong foundation and excellent character. An employee is definitely an investment, so I would want to make the best position possible for the company, my employees, and myself. Great discussion - it definitely took some thought!
1 person likes this
@ahinora (57)
• Bulgaria
20 Jun 10
In my life I pass many interviews and every one was different. Do you know why, because people are different.The most important think is to issue responsibility, open for work/ the employer is not interesting whether you need this job or no.He is interesting somebody who works much for him for small salary. Also with good qualifications, good seemed, ready to work hardly.
1 person likes this
@nuj_kmr (171)
• India
26 Jul 10
If i am interviewing to someone , i will look for skill,job experienced,discipline and way he/she behave.I will go through his/her mark sheet and co-curricular activities.I will judge whether he/she is coming in time or not while doing interview.
@balasri (26553)
• India
18 Jun 10
I will always focus on the candidate's communication skills and smartness.A person with the required qualification with the enthusiasm and charm is my choice.
• Philippines
18 Jun 10
If I were the one interviewing, I will be looking more for the attitude, on what kind of person he/she is. This is very important for me, because I would like my employees to be able to get along well and have a good working environment. The person must be very flexible and can adopt well to different situations. The technical skills, grades and extra-curricular activities will just be a plus on the impression that I will have with the interviewee. I said this because sometimes, there are highly skilled people who we know are qualified for that job, but when it comes to people skills, they have none. I wouldn't want my employees to be working in an office where people do not get along well. Basically, as an overall suggestion, the interviewee should psych him/herself before going to the interview, always have a positive attitude, relax and enjoy the interview. With regards to the resume, it should be clear and simple, he needs to make sure that he knows it by heart and that everything written is correct. And of course, do not forget to pray to God for assistance.. :)