What do employers usually expect from a job candidate?

Of course, skills, experience, and education play a significant part in landing the job of your dreams. But there are situations (and you’ve probably gone through them yourself) when a company chooses a person with almost no qualifications for the job, but they see some qualities in this person that make them the right fit.

Character traits indeed play an important role in talent acquisition and recruitment, mainly because companies are always looking for someone who will be a team player and whose worldview aligns with corporate values and culture.

Undoubtedly, every company is looking for different qualities in the perfect job candidate. But some traits are universal and can help you become successful in any career. What are these qualities, and how can you harness them?

1. Curiosity

When asked which traits he values in an employee the most, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, shared five key characteristics, among which was obsessive curiosity.

You could argue this point, saying that curiosity is a rather abstract quality to be one of those that could help you launch a successful career. However, because curiosity encompasses so many important qualities, it is cherished by one of the world’s biggest corporations.

You can say that a curious person also will always be:

  • collaborative
  • have an analytical mind
  • enthusiastic
  • by ready to learn
  • respectful

Perhaps the biggest perk of curiosity is open-mindedness that nurtures all of the above-mentioned traits.

How to harness curiosity?

Learning a useful language for travel or exploring a different culture can always help you become more curious. These activities always help to open your mind more and make you more receptive, respectful, and understanding of the people and the world around you.

2. Adaptability

We live in a fast-paced world, and our lives can change very fast. Just consider the situation with the current pandemic that changed the world in just a few days.

In the business world, such a pace has always been normal. As companies grow, their business processes are constantly changing. That’s why many of them require employees to be adaptable.

Deloitte is one of such companies and lists adaptability as one of the most crucial qualities it looks for in a job candidate. The company wants its perfect employee to remain positive in the face of change. In Deloitte’s words, adaptability also prompts resourcefulness and problem solving, which are also two important qualities for success.

How to become more adaptable?

An adaptable person never lets experience go to waste and keeps learning from any situation. It will take you a lot of time to harness this quality, but you can start by documenting every experience and analyzing it from different perspectives. It will allow you to exercise analytical thinking and eventually help your mind become more adaptable.

3. Positive Attitude

McDonald’s, being one of the world’s top employees, is also quite picky when it comes to job candidates. Among the qualities that McDonald’s is looking for is self-organization, a sense of responsibility, and, first and foremost, a positive attitude.

In the company’s point of view, a person with a great attitude is also:

  • trustworthy
  • respectful
  • a good team player
  • always up for a challenge

Also, McDonald’s is convinced that a person with a positive personality cannot cook bad food and is enthusiastic about making stellar meals for the company’s customers.

Having a positive attitude can take you far in your career and help you become successful. It not only helps you be more adaptable but also remain level-headed in difficult and stressful situations, which are the qualities that many employers are looking for.

How to train your mind to be positive?

Start by practicing gratitude and celebrating even the smallest accomplishments in your life. Repeating positive affirmations is also a great way to boost your mood and feel more confident about yourself, which is also an important component of being positive.

Applying These Qualities to Your Life and Career

A successful career is not always about skills and experience. Some people are as skilled and trained as one could possibly be, but because they are not good team players, they don’t get the job opportunities they want.

However, when you have qualities like adaptability, positivity, and curiosity, along with great experience, it makes you unstoppable and puts you before all other job candidates in the eyes of an employer.

Hopefully, our insights and tips will help you harness these three important qualities and use them as the foundation to build a successful career.


Ryan is a passionate blogger and writer who now works as a content editor and internet researcher. You can check out his website here. He also likes to travel and explore new countries.