Five Things Employers Are Looking For

IMG_2426-1200x957By Joe Fournier

Most of us think we can interview well, but here are some tips to consider that will not only simplify your thought process but also separate you from the pack of candidates vying for the same job. Interviewers will ask a variety of questions; however, they are all looking to address the five core issues below. Regardless of what the question is, from the basic “what are your strengths” to the exotic “how many marbles would it take to fill up this room”, your answers should always be designed to address the following core issues.

1. You Have the Technical Skills (Competence)

You must have the necessary skills, experience and education to successfully perform the job. At some level, people doing the hiring are looking to protect themselves, and although they may really like you, they are not likely to stick out their necks too far unless you at least have the minimum qualifications. To differentiate yourself, address why you will grow within the position, how you will take on more responsibility, and how you will make your boss’ job(s) easier. Essentially, you are good, but you will listen and get better.

2. You Will Fit In (Culture)

You must establish that you will fit into the existing culture, that you will get along with your colleagues, and most importantly, that you will be a good company representative to clients and business partners. If you want to stand out and be unique, do that after you are hired.

3. You are a Hard Worker

Employers need to know that you a hard worker. I like to work hard/play hard, and I am ok with my employees being the same way, but first I need to know that you will work hard. Be prepared to discuss an example of how you are a team player who is dedicated to finishing what you start, regardless of how long it takes.

4. You Have Weaknesses We Can Live With

We all have weaknesses. The issue is: can you, and how quickly, overcome them. In an interview, rather than answer this question with “well…my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist”, answer it with an example of how you have overcome a weakness quickly and effectively in the past. Productive ways to address this set of questions may include explaining how you learned to use a new software program quickly, how you have changed your approach to managing employees, or how you aced a class that was a new subject for you.

5. You Are Affordable (Compensation)

The employer needs to know that it can afford you. If you are interested in earning above-market compensation, or if you are – for whatever reason – significantly more expensive than the employer’s other options, then you will not be the most attractive candidate. Keep in mind that compensation has many different components, and an employer may be more likely to be generous on non-monetary issues that could improve your overall quality of life.

If you have any questions about employers needs, or any other employment related matters, please contact Fournier Legal Services for a free consultation at or 860.670.3535.