What Do Employers Want?

Maybe you find yourself unemployed during this season. In fact, many people are. With more than 40,000,000 new unemployment claims in the U.S. since March, having a full- or part-time position unaffected by the economic downturn seems like a luxury in these turbulent times.

Maybe you thought your job was secure as you entered 2020. Maybe you never intended to be in the job market again—at least not anytime soon.

Yet here you are. And now it’s more important than ever before, to know how to enter the job market prepared and confident that you will GET THE RIGHT JOB.

One of the first things to do to prepare is ask the question:

What Do Employers Want?

  1. Do your homework. The biggest complaint we hear from employers is that the candidates do not do their homework. Candidates who do not know what the employer does, how they do it, what the job entails—or even the candidate criteria—will not make a great impression on the prospective employer. Before you show up to a job interview, be prepared by doing your homework on the company and the job itself.
  2. Prepare a written outline. Before attending the interview, be sure to have a written outline that documents the job requirements, as well as your abilities and skills that match those job requirements. If the job you are applying for isn’t identical to your experience, think through similar activities and transferable skills that can be applied to the job you’re interviewing for.
  3. S.T.A.R. Stories. When you’re called to interview for what could be the right job, it’s helpful to come up with S.T.A.R. Stories. 

What are S.T.A.R. Stories? These are stories born out of a very helpful exercise. Learn to tell stories about your work accomplishments that answer these 4 questions: What Situation did you face?  What Tasks were to be accomplished? What Actions did you take?  What Results were achieved? 

You can use this helpful tool to develop your own S.T.A.R. Stories.

  1. Confident speaking. It’s important that you be able to speak confidently when talking to a prospective employer. It’s true that some people are just more wired to talk than others. If you think your speaking could use a little help, we highly recommend Toastmasters.  Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders. Everything in Toastmasters revolves around the club. With a network of 16,800 clubs across 143 countries, you are sure to find one near you! Most clubs have around 20 members and meet once a week for an hour.

Need help before your next interview?

We have a free resource to help you WOW interviewers. It is available on the Crossroads Career School, which is powered by Teachable. 

Sign up for the How to WOW Interviewers course in a few easy steps:

  1. Create an account on the Crossroads Career School.
  2. After you have completed your registration in our school, you will see a card for “How to WOW Interviewers.” Click on that card. Then be sure to click “Enroll in Course” on the very next page. 
  3. After you have “enrolled” in the course, you will have access to all the course modules. During this introductory period, the course is being offered for free.

Brian has been writing, speaking and connecting people to Christ in the workplace for 45 years. He is Co-Founder of Crossroads Career Services, former Chick-fil-A restaurants VP for Human Resources and Administration, and Owner of Primus Consulting executive search. He has authored Christian resources including Mastery of Leadership, Real Success at Work, and New Job Jump Start. Brian and his wife Kristy live in the Charlotte, NC area.


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