Tips From an Irvine Interview Prep Tutor: 5 Things Employers Look For In A New Employee

Due to our current economy, recent grads are constantly looking for ways to be different and make their resume stand out from the crowd. Eventually, job seekers will get the opportunity to interview for an entry-level position in their field but often don’t know what, specifically, employers are looking for. It’s hard enough to represent oneself in this nerve-racking situation, but it’s harder still if the person doesn’t know what attributes will make them hirable.


1 – Be a self-starter

Although all employers know they will have to train a new hire, they don’t want someone sitting around on the clock waiting for direction. It’s important for new employees to be able to speak up and ask questions if they don’t understand how to do something and also know the appropriate times to ask such questions. A self-starter won’t email a supervisor and wait three days to hear back, rather they will speak to the supervisor in person and follow up with an email for convenience. Additionally, a self-starter will know when it’s appropriate to speak up. For instance, a companywide meeting with a strict schedule is not the time to ask about detailed intricacies of specific job responsibilities, rather this is best done in a meeting that only addresses the questions of newer employees (READ: “3 Reasons Why You Should Talk to Your Teachers”).

2 – Be a team player

The ability to effectively work as a member of a team is something that employees across all fields have heard about for decades. This is an important quality in a job applicant and holds true regardless of job title. Although, one day, an employee may be the CEO or owner of the company, new hires can best show their worth by being able to effectively act as a member of a team and follow the direction of their immediate supervisor. This is an important quality to show in an interview or demonstrate on a resume because, without the ability to get along, most applicants won’t get past the first stage of filtering.

3 – Show self-confidence

New employees are asked to take on a number of responsibilities they may be unfamiliar with, which can leave them feeling less than confident in their professional abilities. Being the newest person on the job can be nerve-racking, frustrating, and ultimately lower one’s self-esteem. It’s important to remember that every single person in that company, including the CEO, was once a new graduate experiencing their first few months on the job. Although it’s important not to mistake self-confidence with arrogance, a person’s ability to show they are capable of taking on these tasks (and ultimately capable of rising up in the company) is an excellent way to become a valued member the department. Self-confidence, when mixed with equal parts eagerness and humility, can result in an excellent job candidate (READ: “5 Steps to Acing a Job Interview”).

4 – Demonstrate an excellent work ethic

The ability for a job seeker to demonstrate an excellent work ethic, both during the interview process and during the early days on the job, is paramount. This is the number one thing employers are looking for. Job candidates can demonstrate an excellent work ethic by being polite and professional throughout the interview process: E.g., arriving 10 minutes early to the interview, writing both an email thank you and handwritten thank you letter to the hiring manager, behaving and dressing professionally during the interview and so on. Although people with an excellent work ethic may still be confused as to how to get started or need specific direction from a supervisor, they are always willing to take constructive criticism and learn quickly while on the job.

5 – Keep your personal life separate

It’s tempting to tab over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or one’s personal email on the job thinking that everyone else is taking a break as well. In reality, the majority of work computers are tracked by the company and employees who consistently spend their work time for personal communication will be reprimanded or even let go. On occasion, people need to make a personal call while at work but that should be done on a legitimate coffee break where the employee lets their supervisor or team know they’re going to take their break. Additionally, if someone chooses to take their coffee break with colleagues, they are reminded that some topics are just too personal for coworkers. For instance, discussing a neutral topic such as a fun movie seen last weekend is generally OK, intricate family or dating problems should be left out of conversations with coworkers. These types of personal discussions should be saved for after work.

If you have an important interview on the horizon, prep properly with the help of an Irvine Interview Tutor. Call us today for more information.

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