The Top 4 Personality Traits that are Most Likely to Get You that Job
Nope, it’s not work ethics, or honesty.
Leading as many interviews I have, personality traits are definitely a critical tipping point. They can make your interviewer glaze over, or sit up and listen. They can lose you an interview in an instant, or they can carefully support that pitch you’ve been crafting for the last hour of an interview…
So what traits will help you win?
Absolutely crucial to doing a good interview, this isn’t necessarily about the ‘eyes and teeth’ type of radiant positivity you might immediately imagine. Instead, it’s much more subtle. It’s a way of talking about each of your roles, and viewing you career in a positive manner. A lot of people talk about ‘why they left roles’, rather than ‘why they took new opportunities’, opening up the floodgates for conversations about culture, roles, opportunities not being right, or being there, which is an immediate no-no.
There is also a noticeable, attractive, difference between someone who talks about their challenges, or indeed, failures, openly but in a way that show they view it positively. Showing how they have taken the learning from it, and grown as an individual, shows a strong focus on personal and self-development, and high levels of resilience – key to any new appointment.
Similarly, people who own up to their mistakes as well as their successes are far more likely to be seen as having superior leadership potential. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about giving your interviewer an easy reading list of your mistakes. Moreover, it is about not glossing over elements of your career that have made you a better leader today.
It is also about taking clear ownership of your individual contribution to something. If it was you, and you alone who were critical to the success of a project, shout it from the rooftop and be specific about it. Being clear about your role in an achievement communicates confidence and a sense of accountability for results.
In return, if you couldn’t have done it without your boss or your team, give them credit too.
Don’t confuse this with loyalty. Loyalty is an attractive trait, of course, but it is an overused one in the interview world, and is quite difficult to prove.
Commitment is more about proving that you stay the course, no matter how tough something is. One of the most attractive traits in a new hire is that you trust they’ll do the right thing by you. This is quite different to loyalty, which can imply loyalty to an individual, or cause. This is about a commitment to the bigger task at hand and a sense of honour in delivering it.
It worries me deeply when I ask someone what their team, or boss, would say about them and they don’t know. Self-awareness, meaning not only your awareness of yourself, but the awareness of what other people think of you and, in turn your awareness of them, is key to good leadership. If you don’t know this, how can you lead effectively? In a world where emotional intelligence is key to any role, being able to articulate your ability to be self-aware and aware of others is so crucial.
Above all, when thinking about personality traits, always try and relate it to your audience. Why are your traits of value to them? Try and link what you feel you are good at with their need, to create a far more impactful answer to one of the most common interview questions you’ll ever get.
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