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10 Good Qualities Recruiters Want to See in Every Candidate

Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Throughout the interviewing process, you must use your life experiences and anecdotes to show that you have the strengths that companies are looking for.

Hard skills, otherwise known as technical training or education, are important to possess, but once you’ve secured an interview, employers are looking for more. They’re seeking people who will become valuable members of their team, and who possess key characteristics or soft skills.

Soft skills are all about how you function at work and on a team. They are personal traits that directly influence what kind of worker and person you are. Every employer has had a certain amount of experience with both good and bad employees. For this reason, every employer has a pretty good idea of what he or she wants more of.

In this article, we’ll review some of the qualities that employers are seeking.


Honesty is a key quality that employers want in their staff. Some applicants are tempted to exaggerate their qualifications to secure a job, but this is inadvisable. Though it may help you progress through the hiring process, if your potential employer discovers your dishonesty you will never recover their trust.

Honesty is also an important characteristic to have beyond the interviewing process. An employee that admits mistakes and learns from them is an asset to any company.


“Someone who is ambitious comes prepared to the interview and expresses lots of interest in the position. A candidate who wants to grow their career with the company can be an investment for the long term. Candidates can demonstrate ambition by listing achievements that include exceeding goals or working in a leadership position, even while at school or in a volunteer capacity.” - Jeanine Hamilton, founder, and president of Hire Partnership, a staffing firm in Boston.


“If a candidate doesn’t have a positive and upbeat demeanor, it’s a deal-breaker. To clarify, I’m not talking about a Pollyanna attitude, but rather someone who has a great attitude, smile, energy, and optimism that others feel when they interact with them. Moreover, someone that when ‘stuff’ happens, they have an uncanny ability to figure out root causes, work through them with optimism, learn from the situation, and find some sort of silver lining in the experience.” - Kyle Bruss, director of talent acquisition for Talent Plus in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Problem-solving Skills

Employers are looking for more than brainless drones to do their bidding. They want people on their team that can pinpoint a need and address it, so be sure to recount instances when you recognized an issue and developed an effective solution.


Persistence is an important work trait, and employers often ask a question to gauge the determination of applicants in an interview. Be equipped with a story that shows how you overcame a challenge and highlight the tenacity that it took for you to accomplish your goal.


“Scientists use consistent - or reliable - past results in order to predict future behavior. The same holds true at work. Reliability is important because it shows your future boss what they can expect of you going forward. Show you are reliable by [being on time] for interviews or meetings, and sending your resume and any other piece of documentation requested, when you promised.” - Angela Copeland, career and job search coach in Memphis.


Employers look for self-assuredness in candidates. They seek people to join their team who are confident in their abilities and who know what they want. Confident employees are friendly and engaging and have a clear (and honest) idea of what makes them a valuable asset.

Keeping clear goals is a key component of confidence. Communicating your dreams to potential employers will show that you are striving for something bigger - and not just looking for a job to pay your bills.

Eagerness to Learn

Because employers value employees who actively seek to better themselves, it’s important to communicate that you enjoy learning new things. Love for education demonstrates that you are dedicated and humble and that you recognize there is always more to learn. During the interviewing process, be sure to mention that you are an avid reader or that you’re continuing your education.


“Humility goes a long way when it comes to driving good teamwork. It’s important to celebrate as a team but also to personally take responsibility for shortcomings. The best way to demonstrate this is during an interview. We look for individuals who emphasize ‘we’ versus ‘I’, and we also dig into past accomplishments, mistakes, or failures to see how a person reflects on those times. Were the accomplishments described as a team effort? Is blame being placed elsewhere, or do they own their part of that mistake or failure?” - Heather Germain, director of human resources at Professional Staffing Group, a full-service staffing firm in Boston.


Employers want workers who can adapt to changing circumstances. Prove to them you can tackle tasks and changes as they come. You can also show this skill by addressing improvements that need to be made and developing systems or solutions to the issues.

Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You

Optimum Staffing Solutions can help both candidates and employers with the placement of accounting professionals. For the best staffing agencies in Greensboro, NC, as well as for the best staffing agencies in Charlotte, NC, contact Optimum Staffing Solutions.

A Greensboro temp agency, an Atlanta temp agency, as well as a Charlotte temp agency, Optimum, can provide your company with a highly skilled freelancer, contract, temporary, or direct hire professional along with HR Services. Of the temp agencies in Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA, and the temp agencies in Charlotte, NC, Optimum offers small to medium-sized businesses a wealth of talent to fill their positions.

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