Job Interview Question and Answer: What Qualities Would You Look for in an Employee?
Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?
Employers ask, “What would you look for if you were hiring someone for this job?” for two reasons. First, they want to make sure hopefuls understand the expectations of the position. Second, your answer can tell interviewers the traits, skills, and values that you believe are essential in a good employee.
How to Answer “What Qualities Would You Look for in an Employee?”
Prepare for this question by researching the company’s goals, mission statement, and job requirements. See what skills and traits make you a good match for the position and bring up those details during the interview. You can also briefly mention some examples of a time when you exemplified those qualities.
Responses to Avoid for “What Do You Think Makes a Good Employee?”
Vague and generic answers show a lack of forethought. Steer clear of statements like:
- “I don’t know.”
- “Someone with a good work ethic.”
- “I would hire someone like me.”
Also, avoid brushing off the question and simply listing your qualifications in response. It may seem as if you are bragging about your skills and refusing to think objectively about the job.
A good response to this question should be honest and well-thought-out. Use the following samples as a guide for creating your own answer to, “If you were hiring someone for this position, what would you be looking for?”
Sample Job 1 – Line Cook at a Fast Food Restaurant
“If I were hiring for this job, I would search for someone who knows how to multitask. During my time as a server, I learned how important it is to balance duties while working in a fast-paced environment. They should also understand the value of teamwork and communicating with their coworkers to be efficient and minimize mistakes.”
Sample Job 2 – Sales Attendant at a Shoe Store
“To me, the most useful qualities that a new hire can have are politeness and organization skills. Having worked in customer service before, I know it’s essential to maintain a positive attitude when dealing with shoppers. I also think someone who would do their best to keep the store neat and orderly would be a great fit for this position.”
Sample Job 3 – Groomer at a Pet Store
“For this job, I would want someone with the proper training and education who also has a deep love for animals. In my experience working with pets, they can be unpredictable at times, so the person would also need to know how to react quickly, think on their feet, and be able to keep the animals calm and happy throughout the grooming process.”
The Bottom Line
Your main goal when answering this question is to convince the interviewer that you understand what it takes to do the job and that your attitude and abilities would make you a great addition to the company. Be sure to discuss important aspects of the position and relate them to your skills and characteristics.