An impressive CV will get your foot in the door, but when it comes to going from applicant to employee how can you be sure you’ll stand out from the competition? Whilst specific requirements will vary from job to job, there are certain things all employers look for when vetting candidates. 

#1 The right skills and knowledge 

This is without a doubt at the top of any employer's checklist, so you need to be sure that during interviews you demonstrate that you possess the skills and knowledge listed on your CV. 

In preparation for your interview, you should jot down examples of times you have used your skills in a previous job. This will also make sure you’re covered for any competency style questions. Make sure your examples tie into what you have discussed on your CV and the skills listed as essentials in the job description. 

Every industry has its own terminology so it’s worthwhile using some of it in your answers to show the employer that you’re clued up. Don't go overboard here though and only use terminology or jargon that you’re comfortable with and where it’s appropriate. A little use shows your interviewer that you have knowledge of your field but too much and your answers will become indecipherable. 

#2 Enthusiasm for the role and the company 

You might be the most qualified candidate invited to interview, but if your potential employer can’t see that you’re passionate about the job and the company they might decide against hiring you. 

You don’t need to ham up a big performance, the best way to show your enthusiasm is to be yourself and speak openly and honestly about why you want the job. If you have a genuine passion, it will shine through and represent you better than any over the top performance could. 

If you tend to be an excitable person, try not to ramble in your eagerness to get your point across. Listen carefully to what your interviewer is saying and take a pause before answering their questions to make sure you think through what you are about to say. 

#3 Commitment 

The recruitment process is time-consuming and costly for employers so they will be looking for someone who wants to work for them long-term rather than someone who will bounce to another opportunity within a few months. 

You might not want to be in that role for your entire career, and that’s totally fine, but you should have a rough idea of how long you could see yourself there. Show that you will be a committed employee by letting them know what you want out of the role in the long-term and your reasons for applying to work for them specifically as opposed to anyone else. 

#4 Adaptability 

With so much uncertainty in the world now more than ever employers are on the hunt for people who can adapt well to change. For most companies, priorities can change quickly, and they will require their staff to be flexible to help accommodate this. 

This might mean changing up your working hours to suit the companies needs or taking on extra responsibilities during busy times. Your potential employer will want reassurance that you can respond to changes quickly, calmly, and efficiently. You can highlight times where you have been adaptable in the past on your CV and covering letter and expand on this at interview. 

#5 The right cultural fit 

Every organisation has its own set of values and practices that make up its company culture and recruiters will often be assessing if you’ll be a good fit. This doesn’t mean they only hire one type of person, diversity is key to great culture, but they need to be sure that you can work within the core values of their organisation. 

They’ll be looking to see that you will work well with the rest of the team, that you understand the core values and can work to uphold them and that you have a passion for the industry they operate in. 

Unfortunately, it is difficult to actively demonstrate being a good cultural fit but you can prepare yourself for any questions on the company by researching their aims, mission and values which you’ll often find on their website. 

Ultimately, the employer will know best if you will be a good fit with their team, so just relax and be your most approachable and authentic self. 

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