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COMPANY WANTS...Ten Critical Success Factors Nearly Every Company is Looking For

September 28, 2009

Below is a list of ten critical success factors that most employers are looking for in the right candidate:

  1. Positive attitude toward work
  2. Proficiency in field of study
  3. Communication skills (oral and written)
  4. Interpersonal skills
  5. Confidence
  6. Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  7. Flexibility
  8. Self-motivation
  9. Leadership
  10. Teamwork

Some Do's and Don'ts

  • Do plan to arrive on time or a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
  • If presented with an application, do fill it out neatly and completely. Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. Interviewers will want you to speak for yourself.
  • Do greet the interviewer by last name if you are not sure of the pronunciation. If not, ask the employer to repeat it. Give the appearance of energy as you walk, smile and shake hands firmly. Be genuinely glad to meet the interviewer.
  • Do wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. Sit upright, look alert and interested at all times. Be a good listener as well as a good communicator.
  • Do look a prospective employer in the eye while speaking.
  • Do follow the interviewer's leads, but try to get the interviewer to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can apply your background, skills and accomplishments to the position.
  • Do make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner. Stress achievements. For example: sales records, processes developed, savings achieved, systems installed, etc.
  • Do always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on the opportunity.
  • Do show enthusiasm. If you are interested in the opportunity, enthusiastic feedback can enhance your chances of being further considered. If you are not interested, your responsiveness will still demonstrate your professionalism.
  • Don't forget to bring a copy of your resume! Keep several copies in your briefcase if you are afraid you will forget.
  • Don't smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. Do not chew gum.
  • Don't answer with a simple "yes" or "no". Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself which relate to the situation.
  • Don't lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly.
  • Don't make unnecessary derogatory remarks about your present or former employers. Obviously, there were issues or else you would not have left a prior company or be looking to leave a present employer. However, when explaining your reasons for leaving, limit your comments to those necessary to adequately communicate your rationale.
  • Don't over-answer questions. And if the interviewer steers the conversation into politics or controversial issues, try to do more listening than speaking since this could be a sensitive situation.
  • Don't inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, etc., on the initial interview unless you are sure the employer is interested in hiring you. If the interviewer asks what salary you want, indicate what you've earned but that you're more interested in opportunity than in a specific salary.

Negative Factors Evaluated by An Interviewer:

  • Personal appearance which is less than professional.
  • Overbearing, overaggressive or egotistical behavior.
  • No positive purpose.
  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm -- passive and indifferent.
  • Lack of confidence and poise; nervousness.
  • Overemphasis on compensation.
  • Evasiveness; making excuses for unfavorable factors in work history.
  • Lack of tact, maturity and courtesy.
  • Condemnation of past employers, managers, projects or technologies.
  • Inability to maintain a conversation.
  • Lack of commitment to fill the position at hand.
  • Failure to ask questions about the position.
  • Persistent attitude of "What can you do for me?"
  • Lack of preparation for interview -- failure to get information about the company, resulting in inability to ask intelligent questions.