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Qualities Employers Look for at the Time of Hiring

Last updated:
9th Oct, 2021
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Qualities Employers Look for at the Time of Hiring

The moment you come across a job ad, it gives you an impression that the job post requires a specific skill set as per the profile and industry of the employer. So you aim to crack the interview and prepare a super impressive resume that lists all your qualifications and skills that match the job profile. 

Your resume acts as your first impression. Recruiters browse through resumes in search of unique and competent employees who can bring value to their organization. They aim to choose the crème de la crème from all applicants. Hence, they look for extraordinary proficiency and keep a lookout for candidates possessing the perfect combination of hard and soft skills.

During an interview, interviewers expect you the demonstrate the qualities apt for the role you’re applying for. Employers look for solid personal traits that reflect the team spirit of the candidates. They want a peek into your life experiences and talent. What’s more, they always desire professionals who can perform any task with the utmost tact and proficiency. Thus, you must strive to prove yourself as a worthy candidate and a team player for a particular role. The goal is to show potential recruiters that you can become a valuable asset to their organization. 

Typically, employers filter candidates based on multiple skills and qualities. These qualities and skills include: 

  • Honesty
  • Ambition
  • Communication skills
  • Loyalty
  • Teamwork
  • Dependability
  • Self-reliance
  • Flexibility
  • Confidence
  • Quick learning skills
  • Work ethic
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Determination
  • Positivity

Top qualities employers look for in a candidate 

We have compiled a list of 19 essential skills and qualities that employers look for while hiring in any industry:

1. Good communication skills

This quality makes you excellent in expressing your thoughts and ideas, establishing a connection with whom you’re communicating. When you appear for the interview, you can make the best use of the given opportunity to demonstrate your proficiency in communication and expression. 

This involves how well you speak, your command of the English language, and how well you bond with a potential employer. Any job post requires a candidate to be an excellent communicator to coexist and collaborate with different members of an organization or outside of it.

2. Dependability and responsibility

Employers prefer dependable applicants who show a clearer sense of responsibility and work ethic. This quality is often reflected through referrals and recommendations. So, make sure to include any referrals and recommendations you’ve earned from past experiences that prove you are a reliable and trustworthy professional with valuable working experiences. 

3. Problem-solving and analytical skills

This quality allows one to reach the root of any problem and design effective solutions. Employers determine if you have this quality or not by asking situational questions. They often give hypothetical but relatable situations and check your response to assess your problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Hence, draft well-though of answers that portray your problem-solving and analytical thinking skills.

4. Ambition and leadership skills

Having these skills assures the employers that you’re worthy of being promoted to leadership or managerial roles. Being ambitious and possessing leadership skills can help you climb up the promotional ladder pretty fast. However, you must be able to substantiate these skills by referring to examples from your previous work experiences.

5. Teamwork

Today, almost all job roles require collaboration skills and qualities that make you an efficient team player. Again, employers evaluate this quality by asking situational questions. They often seek examples from your past work experiences to see how you have managed to work with a team and collaborate with other members of your organization. 

6. Flexibility

It is a well-established fact that change is the only constant. Therefore, adaptability and flexibility is a critical skill that employers look for in candidates these days. This is because the work atmosphere can be unpredictable – you never know how things may change in a company. Being adaptable and flexible helps show that you are willing to learn new things.

7. Self-reliance

Proactiveness and self-reliance are two qualities that work as the cherry on the cake. Any employer would be the happiest to hire employees who aren’t codependent. They will prefer someone who takes the initiative, leads people, and remains proactive in handling the task at hand. Such employees don’t need to be micromanaged.

8. Eagerness to upskill

Employers prefer professionals who are always eager to learn and improve their skills. They value people who aren’t stubborn in their working methodology. The more enthusiastic you’re to learn, the more you’ll grow as a professional. In the long run, you’ll become a highly valued candidate in your field with an impressive resume. For example, if you’ve completed any professional certification courses, do mention those to the interview. 

9. Confidence

Being confident means having clarity of thought about your long-term and short-term goals. It means having faith in your capabilities and also the ability to convince your employer that you’ll be a good fit for their company. The more confident you are of yourself and your abilities, the higher will be your chances of impressing the person before you. This quality is one of the most important qualities any employer looks for while hiring. 

10. Work ethic

Every organization prefers hardworking, diligent, and committed employees. So, you must convince the employer that you take pride in your work and are punctual, hardworking, and prudent.

11. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work

Organizational quality is quintessential if you are looking for leadership and management roles in a company. Hirers of such job posts keenly look for good planners, organizers, and delegators. Having this quality makes you a more reliable employee, and the company would know that you’ll make the best possible decision around your work plan.

12. Ability to gather and process information

When you work for a company, the employer gives an array of information through instruction manuals, verbal guidelines, data sets, etc. You need to plan your work strategies according to these mandates. If you’re proficient in obtaining and processing such information, it reflects your efficiency as an employee. It shows that you can retain information and also act on the same. 

13. Ability to analyze quantitative data

Analysts are often expected to have this quality as their job won’t produce the desired results without analytical skills. Thus, if you’re applying for technical positions, you must be able to analyze quantitative data such as statistical figures, reports, tables, etc. Effective analytical skills will allow you to understand the company’s market position more effectively.

14. Technical knowledge related to the job

Needless to say, candidates must possess the required technical knowledge for a job. So, for example, a companion hiring engineers would need the candidates to have the necessary technical degree and practical proficiency in that field. The same goes for all other areas where specific technical expertise is required.

15. Proficiency with computer software programs.

We live in a digital age, and computer proficiency is a must-have quality any candidate must possess. Employers prefer candidates who are well versed with computer software and other computer operations as no work in today’s world can be done without computers.

16. Ability to create and/or edit written reports.

Any job profile would require you to create and edit written reports regarding your department at one point or the other. This is a must-have quality for any employee, regardless of their job profile. Creating well-articulated reports helps you visualize the data for everyone’s understanding (both technical and non-technical staff).

17. Ability to influence others

The ability to influence people is particularly crucial for managerial and sales/marketing roles. If the employee has strong communication skills and an impressive personality, they can influence others to come on board with their opinion or plan. This quality helps employees gain new leads, convert leads into customers, and build meaningful relationships inside and outside the workplace. 

 If you want to ace the hiring process and choose candidates best suited for your organization, pursue the Professional Certification in HR Management and Analytics on upGrad. IIM Kozhikode and industry experts specially crafted this course to help students get the best exposure and skills related to HR management. In 5 months, students learn about HR practices, HR analytics, talent acquisition and development, workforce planning strategies, etc. This course explicitly targets mid-level and senior-level managers.

upGrad promises overall development powered by peer-to-peer learning across a global learner base of 40,000+ students. Apart from a well-structured curriculum, learners enjoy interactive live sessions with top instructors and industry experts.


Needless to say, every employer looks for specific qualities in their potential employees. So, if you are aspiring to land a lucrative job opportunity at a top firm in the country or on the global platform, you must strive to acquire these skills. The qualities and skills we’ve mentioned above are what every recruiter looks for, irrespective of the industry or job profile.

As job seekers, you must polish your skills to a level that will help you grab the best possible career opportunities. It’s a competitive world, and being one of the crowd won’t suffice. You must possess all the qualities that make you a better choice than the other applicants for a job post.


Aaron Edgell

Blog Author
Aaron is an experienced digital marketing leader across technology, education, and health & wellness. He has led award-winning agencies and completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the top three qualities that every employer looks for?

Every employer seeks employees that are good leaders, have excellent communication skills, and are passionate about growing in their domain.

2What kind of interview questions do recruiters ask to know how reliable a team member is?

Recruiters often rely on referrals and examples of a candidate's past work experiences to understand how reliable and futuristic the employee is. Additionally, they ask situational questions to assess a candidate’s decision-making skills.

3How important is a resume for an interview?

A resume works as your first impression for an interview. Thus, you must create a well-structured resume that highlights all your relevant qualifications, skills, and experiences for a particular job role.

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