“17 Key Traits That Hiring Managers Seek in a Successful Interview”

I Should Have My Name Somewhere in the Higher Education Book of World Records for the Total Number of Interviews I’ve Attended in My Life

I remember taking the bus to my very first job interview. I was nervous, but excited. This could be my chance to get started on my career path. Little did I know at the time that this would be the beginning of a long journey of job interviews and search committees that would last for years.

Over time, I’ve attended over 75 interviews in person, not counting phone interviews. If you add phone interviews in, the number goes over 100. As I reflect back on my experiences and consider the number of interviews I’ve conducted as an employer, I know I have acquired a unique perspective on how to ace an interview.

Through this article, I would like to share 17 things that have helped me prepare efficiently for interviews and get the job I wanted.

1. Do Your Homework

Doing your homework about a company or organization demonstrates your genuine interest in the position. Prepare by studying the company’s website, mission statement, and core values. Then, take it one step further and connect your previous experiences and skills with how you can contribute to the company.

2. Fit the Company (Almost) Perfectly

As you prepare for the interview, keep in mind that you’re also interviewing the employer. The hiring manager wants to know that you will fit in with their organization and that you share similar values. Show your interest in the organization and how you relate to its mission.

3. Aware of Your Own Weaknesses

It’s crucial to be self-aware of the areas where you struggle. As an employer, I need to know where you need support, so that the right team and mentor can be assigned to assist you in these areas.

4. Know How to Manage Conflicts

Nobody wants to work with someone who can’t manage conflict in the workplace. Explain a previous situation and how you resolved it, and what you learned about yourself in the process. Understanding how you respond to negative situations can also reveal how you’d fit into the organization.

5. Solve Problems Skillfully

Problems can arise at any moment in the workplace. As a supervisor or hiring manager, I want to learn about how you deal with frustrating situations and how you navigate through confusion. Your confidence and problem-solving skills are critical factors in getting hired.

6. Have a Good Personality

In any interview, it’s important to demonstrate your individualism and showcase how you can approach tasks and projects. A good personality is key and can open up discussions quickly and easily. Share how you can make valuable contributions to the company’s culture.

7. Be a Leader and Follower

A key skill is the ability to be both a leader and a follower. Emphasize your past achievements in these roles. The hiring manager will want to discern whether you’re looking to lead a team as a supervisor or be part of one.

8. Know Your Expectations

If the hiring manager is also going to be your supervisor, they want to know how you like to be supervised. Have realistic expectations. If you need clarification on a task, don’t shy away from seeking it. However, it’s important to demonstrate a level of independence and an ability to handle tasks without significant support.

9. Able to Achieve Work-Life Balance

As an employee, nobody can function at their best level if they’re not taking good care of themselves. Demonstrate an ability to balance work and personal life through healthy hobbies and interests, and explain how you make good use of downtime.

10. Be Enthusiastic About the Opportunity

Exhibit some passion for the position you’re interviewing for. Companies love to hire employees who genuinely want to work for them and show excitement for the position.

11. Show Your Confidence

You’ve come this far in the interview process. Show some self-confidence in your ability to do the job. Present previous experiences that have prepared you to take on the new position.

12. Strive for Results

Your new boss wants to know if you can get things done and provide positive results. Provide examples of situations where you completed a significant project from start to finish and demonstrate how it made a difference.

13. Show Your Positivity

Positive employees are more productive in the workplace. Remain upbeat, even when discussing past negative experiences with co-workers or supervisors. Positivity is contagious and can leave a lasting impression.

14. Manage Your Time Effectively

Being prompt to interviews and on time is essential. Arriving late is not a good first impression. Plan your journey the night before, and aim to arrive at the designated location at least 15 minutes before the interview starts.

15. Dress Professionally

Appearances matter during job interviews. Dress professionally, but be comfortable. Understand the dress code for the organization, and if in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

16. Listen Actively

Listening is critical during interviews since hiring managers want to know that you can understand and comprehend directions and tasks effectively. During the interview, listen actively to the questions asked to present excellent responses.

17. Be Gracious

Finally, always say “thank you” at the end of an interview or correspondence. Politely acknowledge the interviewer’s time and express appreciation for their consideration. By displaying graciousness, you show appreciation that can help reiterate the genuine interest you have in the position.


In conclusion, acing an interview requires preparation, enthusiasm, and self-confidence. It demands that you take sufficient time to understand and identify yourself and your skills. Preparing to answer commonly asked interview questions can place you ahead of other applicants. Through self-awareness and passion for the job, you can strike the right balance and stand out in a sea of competition. With these tips, you can be successful in your job search and secure the position you have always wanted.

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