Guest Blog: “The Top 5 Characteristics, A Candidate’s Guide to Preparing For an Interview”

Our guest blogger, Stephen Perry, is a Senior-level IT Recruiter with TAL Group. Stephen brings 7+ years of experience in the field of IT & Mobile recruitment and has a diverse background in both agency and corporate settings.

Stephen has extensive experience in placing top professionals with Fortune 500 organizations, and is a multi-award winner and leader within the organization. 

The article below was originally published on Stephen Perry’s LinkedIn Pulse Account, and can be found here

The Top 5 Characteristics: A Candidate’s Guide to Preparing For an Interview

Interviews can be very stressful, and candidates often find themselves overthinking and over-preparing. Trying to summarize your skills in a precious 15 minutes can be incredibly difficult. That being said, all interviewers (regardless of where you are looking for work) share a common set of characteristics that they are looking for throughout the process.

The 5 characteristics listed below were originally published by Social Hire. That being said, I’ve paraphrased them based on my over 7+ years of recruitment experience and I hope they help you in your job search. If you are a senior-level executive looking for work in IT/Mobile, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn to discuss our current opportunities.

1: Reliability

How reliable you are is always going to directly impact your ability to land the job.

Reliability is a crucial characteristic, as almost every role in an organization serves a vital purpose and lacking this personality trait can poorly affect productivity. Displaying proven reliability to your recruiter, and potential employer, demonstrates that both can trust you with their company’s productivity. It will also be a strong step in the direction of getting the job you want.

How you can convey this in an interview:

  • Be punctual: Make sure that you arrive on time (if not early) for the interview.
  • Give examples: Provide a few examples of instances in which you demonstrated reliability, whether in your personal or professional life, and relate it back to the position you are interviewing for.

2: Efficiency

Efficiency is the key to doing well in a position, so naturally the interviewer will be looking for evidence of this. This characteristic is developed and fine-tuned with practice and an understanding of what you are doing.

Most people will claim that they are efficient at what they do, but what an interviewer is looking for is concrete proof. Making relevant references about how you perform is key to getting the interviewer on your side. Showing that you will be efficient in your future role gives the interviewer increased confidence in your ability to perform the tasks needed.

How you can convey this in an interview:

  • Show up prepared: Bring your resume, relevant samples of your work (if applicable) and any other materials that may be required.
  • Plan ahead: Prior to the interview, prepare for the questions you may be asked and consider how you can best answer it.
  • Research the company: Prior to your interview, conduct research on the company. What form of business are they involved in? What is their primary service or product? What exciting projects are coming up for company? What awards have they won? Once you have this vital information, use it to elevate answers in your interview to demonstrate your knowledge of the organization and interest for the position.

3: Confidence

Confidence is one of those characteristics that can be either your greatest ally, or your worst enemy. Over-confidence can come across as arrogance, and lack of confidence can look like incompetency. It is important to achieve the right balance.

How you can convey this in an interview:

  • Refer to the listed criteria: In the job description, look at the listed skills that are required. Be sure to discuss each skill and how you’ve previously demonstrated it, showing how confident you are both with the role and your ability to fill it.
  • Ask questions: There is no shame in asking for clarity on certain aspects of the business, in fact, it shows that you are confident enough to make sure that this is the position for you.

4: Being Able to Communicate Effectively

Communication is important in all business. Without it, productivity can be hindered or decreased. As such, communication is a characteristic often focused on throughout the duration of the interview. You should strategically utilize this skill to demonstrate your ability to effectively convey your suitability for the position.

How you can convey this in an interview:

  • Compose yourself: Tripping over your words or rambling shows a lack of communication dexterity, so take a second to calm yourself before you answer questions. Also consider taking a drink into the interview room with you, to avoid dry-mouth syndrome and to give yourself an extra second to prepare your answer.
  • Format your resume: Make it clear and concise, use headers and bullet points for relevant items and use a clean font to show how you communicate in written form.

5: Show Passion for the Role

No company wants to hire someone who will quit after a few months, complain all the time, and just appear unhappy. All of these things can happen when someone lacks passion for the position they are in. Having passion for the role you are applying for is one of the most important characteristics that an interviewer will be looking for in order to eliminate the possibility of having an unsatisfied employee.

How you can convey this in an interview:

  • Talk about positive experiences: Provide examples from similar previous roles in which you felt positive, passionate and positively contributed to the working culture.
  • Tell them: Openly explain how much you enjoy the role you are applying for, what you love about it, and what you are looking forward to doing. Genuine excitement is much more believable.

One final thought to help you prepare…

In any interview, remember to relax. The reason you are there is because they have reviewed your resume and like what they have seen. Take a deep breath, hold your head high and don’t forget to smile!

Source: Social Hire

Want to be a guest blogger?

If you are familiar with the IT & Mobile landscape, we’d love to here from you! To discuss guest blogging opportunities, contact TAL Group’s Marketing Department at

If you would like to discuss next steps in your career path, don’t hesitate to reach out. One of our recruitment experts would be happy to review your resume and discuss options, your expectations and professional goals.  Call us at (416) 599 1825 or e-mail us here


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