90% of candidates get rejected at the interview stage, i.e. 1 out of 10 chances of success. Three years of assisting our clients like PepsiCo., HCL, Channel V and Flipkart, shortlist interns has helped us zone in on the following 5 key characteristics that make 10% of the candidates who get selected, stand out!
- Passion: This is probably the most common word you will hear from successful people and organizations. If what you love doing as a person, what you are good at and what the job demands are congruent, you score high on this critical aspect. Passion must match both required skills as well as your acquired skills.
- Cultural fit: Work culture is the most distinct feature of each organization. It is what makes Google one of the best places to work at. An organization where your personality and attitude match with that of the larger team is the best fit for you. A highly hierarchical firm might work fabulously for someone who finds comfort in order and processes, while an organization with a small group of like-minded employees will work brilliantly for people who thrive as self-starters and collaborators. Find a culture that suits your value system and communicate what makes you a good fit for that organization.
- Skill sets: Don’t mistake skills for academics. Focus on personal traits that will add value to the job – communication, learning, hard work, motivation, excellence, clarity, adaptability, eye for detail. These are skills which are hard to acquire, but can help you across a wide spectrum of opportunities. One cannot be good at all; define your top three skills and focus on industries and opportunities that require these in abundance.
- Sincerity: If you can show diligence, sincerity and professionalism, it will help you score above other more skilled candidates. After all, trust is difficult to find and companies value people they can trust and depend on. Every team and industry needs these qualities. As Richard Branson said “Your reputation is your biggest asset.”
- Doers: If you can’t walk the talk, don’t talk. Simple. If you say you posses certain skills or qualities, show examples from the past that exhibit that. If you have never been part of a team, don’t highlight your credibility as a team player. Similarly, if you cannot show examples of how you worked hard, don’t say that you’re hard working.
To sum up, before you head for an interview answer these simple questions: Do your skills justify your passion? Are these skills what the company needs? Will you be able to make friends and enjoy your work? Are you trust-worthy? Are your claims rooted in your past?
If you can answer at least three of the above questions with a yes, you have a great chance of standing out and being amongst the top 10% of the students that get selected.