Not all interview questions are about you, but this one is. The interviewer is trying to get an idea of traits that you find important in an employee. Traits you value will probably be traits that you have, or that you strive to have. When asked this question, a hiring manager is curious to see if you will strictly mention traits you have already talked about, or if you can think outside of the box.
Points to Emphasize
It’s important to remember that you’re not perfect. That means that you might not have all of the important traits. There are a few key traits that you should mention.
- Talk about traits that lend themselves to good communication like intelligence, out-going personalities and tact.
- Bring up traits that help employees stay focused on their work like dedication, quiet personalities, ambition and respect.
- Mention traits that are unique, and hard to find like creativity or expressiveness.
- Discuss the importance of motivating traits like leadership, responsibility and recognition.
Point out traits that make for a well-rounded individual, and many of which you have.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
While there are many traits you should bring up, there are also ones that don’t need to be mentioned.
- Try not to put a positive spin on something bad, this may seem like you’re trying to compensate.
- Do not mention traits that lead to loss of productivity like talkativeness.
- Don’t bring up unhealthy traits like depression, laziness or anger.
- Also, do not talk about traits that might be gender, age or race specific.
Avoid giving a negative answer.
Here’s a great answer to a question about traits you would look for in an interviewee:
If I were interviewing someone for this position, there are a number of traits I would look for. I would want someone who is creative because they would be able to help implement change and growth in the company. I would want to see intelligence and tactfulness in the interviewee to ensure that they can communicate well with clients and coworkers alike. I would love to find that unique trait of outgoing yet can keep to themselves and get work done well. I would also want to see leadership and responsibility, because that to me would say they can motivate themselves and others around them.
When listing off traits, make sure to give sound reasons as to why you think they are important. A list of traits isn’t going to be a useful answer. Give the interviewer insight into your answer by providing a little bit of explanation.