Fresh out of college or switching industries? The struggle is real. From resumé formatting to strengthening your interview skills, there are a lot of ups and downs in finding your dream job. Maybe you’ve got the cover letter writing down to a science, but it seems like your interviews are falling flat. Rest assured that you’re not alone and practice makes progress!

The great thing about interviews is they not only help employers qualify future employees, but they allow the job applicant to find a company they’d be proud to work for. Think of it like speed dating, but for professionals. On a date, you wouldn’t exactly show up in pajamas or scream at the wait staff. The same is true for a job interview, and there are certain personality skills that fare better than others.

Here are some of the traits that hiring managers tend to look for in an ideal employee!

#1: Self-Motivation

In your career, there won’t always be someone there to hold your hand every day and encourage you to finish your latest project. More importantly, you’ll never learn how to be independent in the workplace and build on your existing skills if you require constant follow-up and reminders. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith!

Be sure to demonstrate your self-motivation during your interview to set yourself apart! Better yet, once you land your dream job, go the extra mile and take initiative on new ideas and projects. Your future self will thank you.

#2: Positive Attitude

Nobody likes a negative Nancy, and it isn’t difficult for hiring managers to pick up on subtle hostility during interviews. Even a small dose of pessimism can turn off an interviewer. If you’re struggling with ways to focus on the positive, there are plenty of exercises to help train your brain to see the good in all situations.

More importantly, carry these skills over to your day-to-day job once you do get hired. It will make your workplace friendlier and increase your odds of success.

#3: Organization

One of the worst ways to make a first impression is by showing up to an interview unprepared. Be sure to have extra copies of your resumé on-hand, along with examples of your work. It will show the interviewer that you’re organized and ready for anything that comes your way.

Once you’re hired, don’t forget to keep your desk tidy of any clutter or trash. You know you’ve got a problem when you have ants trailing up to your snack drawer.

#4: Confidence

Whether you’re a software developer or public relations executive, confidence is one of the biggest keys to success in the professional world. All hiring managers are impressed by interviewees who believe in their skills and capabilities.

Of course, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, so just make sure you’re always receptive to feedback on your work without being defensive. A small dose of humility can go a long way when paired with confidence.

Bonus Trait: Professionalism

Even if your dream job can be done while sitting at home in your pajamas, it’s important to communicate professionalism if you’d like to be taken seriously.

Think of the saying, “Don’t dress for the job you have; dress for the job you want.” The motto applies to attire, attitude, and overall perspective. If you want to be promoted or are striving for a managerial role, be aware of how you present yourself, no matter the office environment!

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that every industry is different, meaning every single company has a unique standard on what it means to succeed. Before interviewing at a business, a good rule of thumb is to check out their LinkedIn profile, along with any social media accounts and their website.

You’ll get a good idea of what the day-to-day workplace is like and see if it’s the right place for you. Plus, bringing something up about the company, like a recent company picnic or a new website change, is always good in an interview.

Now go out there and rock these personality traits! You’ll get the job every time.

About the author

Kelsey Skager

Kelsey is a master of promotional products with over five years of marketing and industry experience. She is proud to have been featured on ABC 7 Chicago News and NPR.