Life is all about competitions, from the day we are born the race begins. If you have siblings you have to compete with them, then comes friends, classmates, colleagues…the race never ends. And in most cases, you have only one shot to make a good impression and move to the next step.
Your first impression is always your Resume and email. Most people are eliminated at that level, so I cannot emphasize it enough how important it is to write a stunning Resume and heartfelt email.
Let’s assume your Resume captured my attention, next I will be giving you a call. I often have very limited time to spend with you and tend to go over many things quickly. I tend to do most of the talking because I want to give them maximum amount of feedback before I need to jump to my next call, however I do listen very carefully and pay attention to how you react and make decisions during my initial call. I rarely have time to give people a second chance, so it is extremely important to present yourself the best way possible during interactions with potential hiring managers.
Why am I sharing these with you? Because most people feel the same way I do and I do not want you to miss an opportunity because you did not know.
So, what are the top 10 skills I am screening candidates for?
If someone sounds like they just rolled out of bed and do not want to be bothered, I will not call them back for a fact.
- Eagerness to Learn
This is extremely important for me. I sometimes get follow up questions from candidates I spoke with that want to learn more about something I said. This is always welcome and tells me a lot about them.
- Listening skills
If they cannot take 30 minutes from their “busy” life to listen to someone, I am pretty sure they will not be focused at work either, so it is a pass.
- Courtesy and politeness
Any unpolite comment will disqualify them immediately. That also applies to responses such as “okay, okay, okay”, “yeah, yeah I got it”. You may think I am calling you from a fake consulting company or some scamming agency and that may be the reason of your attitude, but again if you are not capable of identifying good from bad I do not want to be working with you.
Time is money, you should be able to manage your time and have respect in other people’s time. If you are not showing up on time or dialing in to a call as scheduled I will not call you back for a fact.
Being a professional means understanding your strengths and weaknesses and appreciating mentorship. I look for people who know what they can learn from others as well as being able to contribute to others’ success.
In today’s day and age not being able to get basic information on company, role, job description etc. is unacceptable and shows me that you are lazy. If you know you have a call with me the next day at least take the time to look at our website, blog, LI and ask me informed questions.
I am always looking for people who are generally confident of who they are. No one is perfect, we all learn and grow, and you should be OK with it. How do I know if you are confident? If you are able to ask me questions and have a dialog with me it often means you are OK with not knowing things and are willing to learn.
This is very important for me. In today’s job market, everyone including myself has to be flexible and willing to change gears. There is no alternative to this.
- Overall pleasantness
We hire people we want to work with for 5+ years, we do not hire short term resources. It is extremely important for us to believe that you will be a pleasant addition to our team. Any doubts I have will put you in the “not sure” pile.