To land the job, you'll need to show some charm.
When it comes to nailing an interview, your personality may play a larger role than you realise. According to a recent study carried out by TopCV and CV-Library, 77 per cent of UK employers considers a candidate's personality to be among the top three factors in deciding whether to extend a job offer. In addition, when asked about the traits that impress them the most when hiring, nearly 200 UK employers cited reliability (62%), confidence (61%), honesty (58%), honour (51%), and loyalty (32%) as their top choices.
Here, we look at each of those personality traits and, with the help of careers expert Amanda Augustine, break down how to show them in your next interview.
No matter the industry, a boss needs to know that they can count on you. That may be why reliability was chosen by 62 per cent of employers, deeming it the most desirable personality trait.
So, how exactly do you show reliability in an interview? According to Augustine, it starts before you walk in the door: 'Demonstrate reliability by providing all of your resources, promptly responding to any queries from the hiring managers and turning up on time for your interview.' You can continue this after your interview as well by sending a thank-you note in a timely and courteous manner.
Actions speak louder than words here. Instead of talking about how reliable you are in the interview, employers want you to show them through your behaviour from start to finish.
Talking yourself up is never easy. Add the stressful environment of a job interview and projecting confidence may seem impossible. It's still important though, because 61 per cent of hiring managers called confidence an essential personality trait for candidates.
One of the common roadblocks to showing confidence in a job interview is the fear of being perceived as arrogant. It's an honourable concern, but UK job seekers often take this modesty too far and fail to effectively communicate their value. Augustine reasons: 'If you don't show that you're confident in your abilities, why should the HR manager believe it?'
Preparation is key to showing confidence in an interview ‒ knowing what points you want to get across, practising your answers to common questions, completing thorough research. All of this will help you calm your nerves. From there, you can focus on saying the right things that will impress.
Just like an employer needs to know they can count on you, they need to know that they can trust you. Can you keep your word? Will you be truthful about yourself and the work you do? These are all concerns when HR managers are looking for new employees, which is why 58 per cent called honesty an essential personality trait in a candidate.
Of course, lying on your CV is highly discouraged. Fibbing in your interview, whether intentionally or not, can also come back to haunt you. 'Don't embellish your achievements or exaggerate your involvement in a project when talking about your history', says Augustine. 'Not only is staying truthful the right thing to do, but giving credit where credit is due will also show your ability to be a team player.'
You may not be a knight, but 51 per cent of HR managers still want to see honour in job candidates. This can mean anything from high moral principles to the way you treat strangers.
'Displaying your integrity in an interview will come down to how you conduct yourself ‒ how you react to the people and events around you', explains Augustine. Remain respectful to everyone you meet, from the secretary to the CEO. Simply demonstrating that you're a decent person will show that you're someone people want to work with.
Nearly a third (32 per cent) of employers look for candidates who demonstrate a high level of loyalty. 'This is interesting', shares Agustine. 'Current trends show that job hopping ‒ and even field hopping ‒ is becoming more and more common, meaning there's less employer/employee loyalty overall.' Still, HR managers may use perceived loyalty as a tool for gauging trustworthiness, so it's important to show in your interview.
Sure, you can demonstrate loyalty by staying at a company for over five years, but that may not be realistic for everyone. If you don't have an impressive tenure listed on your CV, you can show your fidelity through the way you answer questions about your previous jobs. Don't criticise your boss or complain about co-workers, even if the company was toxic. Be extra careful with questions like 'Why did you leave your last job?' as well, as those can often open the floodgates.
Be your best self
Your CV is great for outlining your skills and experience, but data shows that personality is a priority for HR managers as well. The interview is your chance to show that you're a fit, so take the opportunity to showcase the reliability, confidence, honesty, honour and loyalty the interviewer seeks. Impress by displaying these character traits and the employer will be looking forward to your first day as much as you will be.
Showing your best traits matters on your CV too. Find out where you stand by submitting for a free CV critique.