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Top Traits Employers Look For In A Candidate

There are certain traits employers look for in addition to qualifications and work experience.

Being qualified for a job will not necessarily get you the job if that’s the only value that you bring to the table.

Top traits employers look for


This should go without saying, but every employer is looking for people with integrity.

Integrity will help build trust and trust leads to long-lasting relationships and automatically lower employee turnover.

Any employer wants to make sure that you can be trustworthy, that you will be doing the job that you are paid to do while complying with the company’s procedures.

While it might seem like a basic trait, you would be surprised to know that lack of integrity is one of the biggest problems that employers are facing nowadays.

From employees that spend their days gossiping to stealing or simply not doing their jobs because of social media or pure laziness, lack of integrity means billions of dollars lost by enterprises every year, making integrity one of the top traits employers look for.


While it might not seem important, motivation is one of the top traits that employers look for.

Hiring managers are always more inclined to hire someone that does not fit the job requirements 100% but is very motivated over someone that is 100% qualified but lacks motivation.


Because someone who has the motivation will give their best to do the job, to prove themselves and to grow.

The last thing that employers want is to hire someone who is only driven by money, as this usually ends up with the person leaving as soon as they get a better offer.


Optimists are proven to deal better with stress and problems, while obviously complaining very little or not at all.

Hiring managers want optimists in their team because bringing someone who complains a lot or gets easily overwhelmed can bring the whole morale of the team down.

Top traits employers look for in a candidate


Maturity is one of the top traits employers look for in a candidate, as being mature will lower the risk of bad office relations, leaving after a short time or being irresponsible.

It doesn’t mean that you need to be 30 years old to have this trait.

There are many twenty-year-olds that are extremely mature and capable of taking responsibilities and delivering at a new job and the best way to show how mature you are is by preparing yourself with a story or two, about how you took responsibility for something at work, or how when you made a mistake you thought about what went wrong and then came up with the best solution.

Emotional intelligence

While emotional intelligence, or EQ, might seem more like a buzzword, it is actually one of the most important traits employers look for in a candidate.

According to Help Guide:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals.

One way to prove that you do have emotional intelligence is to explain how when a colleague was overwhelmed with work, you jumped in to help and take some of the load since you didn’t have any immediate deadlines.

This is a great example showing empathy, the ability to build relationships and to take responsibility.

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Being ambitious and wanting more from your career is always good in the eyes of employers.

Having 5-year plans is great in order to see if your goals align with the goals of the company that you are interviewing with. 

Hiring managers know that ambitious people are keen to grow and learn and if achieving more in your career is your number one priority, this will be an advantage over your competition during the recruitment process.

A great tip is to think about the career path with the company before attending the job interview and see if this aligns with your goals.

Of course, you will need to ask questions during the job interview to make sure that you are on the same page, before accepting a job offer.

If you are able to show the above traits that employers look for, you should be able to secure a good job even with very little job experience.

You can prove these traits with real-life experiences as well. They do not need to be related to professional experience.

Caring for a sick family member or a younger sibling, getting a part-time job at a young age, volunteering or simply helping someone in need show many traits about someone.

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1 thought on “Top Traits Employers Look For In A Candidate”

  1. I would add these critical traits: general enthusiasm for the position and for what the company is doing. Genuine desire to learn, work hard, and achieve, as an individual and, sometimes more importantly, as part of a team.

    What is “maturity”? You can say “I’m mature.” You can give specific examples of how you handled challenging situations. Took initiative to ask for help from more experienced people? Great, that’s smart. Made informed decisions based on the information and data you had? Well done.

    Explain what you did that went well. Also point out what didn’t go so well and what you learned about how to do better next time. The ability to learn from mistakes is important. The ability to take action based on the best information you have is critical to growth and achievement. You can do it!


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