5 Things Every Employer Wants To Hear In An Interview


Ever wonder what a potential boss wants to hear in an interview? What exactly can you say that will increase your chances of receiving a job offer? I recently heard some great advice that lined up with my previous experience as a human resources manager, and so I thought I would share this great advice with you!

Related: #1 Interview Question You Must Answer Correctly

Here are five things to communicate during an interview that will convince the employer you’re a great hire.

1. You Will Never Have To Tell Me What To Do Twice

Every employer wants to know they can give you instructions once—and you’ll get the job done. I guarantee you that no employer wants to micromanage or ask an employee more than once to do something—no matter what it is.

2. I Will Complete The Job/Assignment You Give Me With Excellence

The employer wants to hear that, no matter what, you are going to make it happen—that you’re going to get the job done and do it to the best of your ability.

3. I Am An Agreeable Person

The employer wants to know that no matter what situation you are put in, you’re going to be a team player—and that you’re not going to create confusion, conflict, problems, or challenge their authority.

4. I Am Easy To Correct And Instruct—I Am Teachable

If there is something that’s not getting done, or if you’re not doing it correctly, the employer wants to know that they can approach you to discuss the situation and that you’re not going to fly off the handle or think you’re superior.

5. I Am A Loyal Employee

I will not talk poorly about you. I will do everything I can to promote you and help promote this business. While I am working for you I will always be the best employee—whether for 1 year or 10 years. And should I leave, I will be rehireable, and I will leave in an amicable and responsible manner.

Prospective employers nowadays understand that asking employees to make a commitment to stay for 10—or even 25 years—just isn’t realistic. Loyalty isn’t about longevity. It’s about being a committed and responsible employee while you’re with that company.

These five points are essentially what every employer wants to hear from a potential employee. Of course, this isn’t an end-all, be-all of an interview, but if you can communicate these very important points to a prospective employer during an interview, it will help the interviewer to feel at ease, sense that you are a great employee, and believe that you would be an asset to the organization.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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How To Answer Tough Interview Questions Effectively
Top 3 Interview Questions You Should Ask
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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez | Expert Resume Writer & Personal Branding Strategist

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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter.


  1. There is another factor or point that needs to be covered.
    I realise this may be stating the obvious but I try to
    put myself in the shoes of the employer by asking
    myself to be prepared …. Would I employ myself and
    if the answer is yes, then go further and asked why ?
    When unemployed for a while it is also important
    to feel confident in your skills and not be afraid to
    ask when you need to. Go with the facts which may be good, bad or indifferent
    and run with it. If it is good then acknowledged this and give yourself
    a pat on the back, if not good then I would ask . :-)

  2. Jerry: You had asked about how to answer the “tell me about a time when” questions. These are called C.A.R. responses, standing for Challenge, Action, Result. VERY effective in the interview. Challenge is where you describe a problem you encountered in a previous work situation, Action is what you specifically did to resolve it, and Result is the positive result that occured as a result of your action. Think of a CAR as a “mini-story”. Have 4-5 prepared and rehearsed bebore an interview. Most interview quesions of that type can be annswered with one of those CAR responses.

  3. Not the advice I’d give a job seeker in the 21st century. If I’m hiring you I want to know you can do the job, are enthusiastic about our company, and will make me look good for having hired you!

  4. getting a dog…funny! Yeah John I tend to agree with you. Appearing too agreeable in an interview is not going to get you the job, and who would want a job where you are expected to just salute and obey?. Hiring managers at reputable companies want employees that can get things done and solve problems. So bring examples (proof) that you can do that into the interview.

  5. I am a hiring manager and have interviewed over a thousand people for jobs. My advice on “what we want to hear in an interview” is tangible proof that you have successfully done before what you be doing in the new job. The other thing is have good concrete examples on evidence that you possess the “soft skills” (teamwork, coachable, leadership, work ethic, etc). Experienced managers know it is IMPOSSIBLE to train someone on the soft skills unless they are ready and want to change. So make sure you can prove to me you already have those skills!

    • Bill,
      I appreciate your comments and have a question.
      I have a solid work history of being promoted with companies I’ve worked for, however I struggle with the “tell me a time when you…” question.
      In my work history, I have always been a problem solver, then I move on to dolve the next problem. I don’t keep a “bank” of problems solved.
      Is there a strategy I should usewhen facing that question? It is one that has bee a challenge for me.

      Thank you,
      Jerry Janowski

  6. I would rather be employed than be right. My job is to put food on my family’s table and a roof over their head so if I have to stretch the interview into what they want to hear to have a better chance of getting an offer, you’d better believe that’s what I’m going to do. Some of the opinions here are biased anyway because there is a big difference between having a job and wanting a different one or needing a job because they don’t have one. If you want to make a switch, you can relax and be correct and see who bites but the person that doesn’t have a job is going to do whatever it takes to get it.

  7. I agree with the list provided, but would go a step further. It isn’t just important to ‘tell’ the employer these things, but to ‘show’ HOW each will be accomplished — and examples from past experiences (school, work, athletics, volunteer work) that demonstrate that you have a history of these great characteristics.

  8. As a job seeker, there seems to be a conflict with telling an employer what they “want to hear” and what I think they want to hear. I don’t want to just tell an employer what they want to hear, I want to show them that I have skills and abilities that could help their team grow and thrive.
    Yes, I am a team player who will do what the employer wants (and needs) me to do. But I don’t think an employer is looking for a “yes man” robot. I don’t want to say something just to get a job. I want to convey more.
    I’m open to thoughts on this and would love feedback.

    • Some employers DO want yes men (and women). They are the smartest guys in the room and you will be reminded of it every day. Best you simply agree with them even if asked for your input.

    • Applicants need to differentiate between employers that have problems that need to be solved and employers that need warm bodies to perform well defined work.

  9. I think the tips are fantastic, realistic and usable. Any advise is helpful and obviously can be modified to what would work best for the situation and the individual. You can’t have too many tools in your bag!

  10. Here’s a twist, what if current staff don’t meet criteria 1-4? I hear this all the time from existing staff and they can’t cut it. Seems cliche at an interview.

  11. Another thing that’s important to remember during an interview is to ask questions at the end. This shows the hiring manager your true interest and willingness to engage with the company. Consider asking, “Can you describe what a typical day is like for a worker in this position?” or “What opportunities for advancement are there in your company?” Consider memorizing a few questions so you don’t blank at the end of the interview–good luck!

    • As a long time interviewer I have to say I hate questions at the end, especially if they are memorized and I can tell they are asking just to ask. If you have not relayed your willingness to engage during the interview, at the end is to late. Just my two cents.

    • How about this as a better question…Based on our conversation, have I answered everything to get your recommendation to hire me for this job? If yes, then summarize and ask for it; if no, don’t leave until you get to yes. Even if they aren’t the final hiring manager, you made them commit to a positive recommendation.

  12. Some sound advice about what the employer is looking for. Potential Employees just need to convey this message to the employers. With practice, they can.

  13. Good suggestions. I’d add the following spin to tie it all together. The clients I coach in interview prep are taught to speak in terms of ‘problems’. What sort of problems they’ve solved in the past and for what outcome. The more closely those examples align with the ‘problems’ the prospective employer has the more the applicants features become perceived as benefits. Benefits are what get the hooks in when being interviewed. Good luck all job seekers, it’s a tight labour market right now.

  14. You’ve been watching too many Bond movies! Do you really want your employed to behave like unquestioning henchmen, or will the quality of your busines decisions be enhanced by staff who are prepared to question your instructions and offer better solutions? I don’t agree with your first two criteria at all!

    • Ian: The “point” is to get the job!! You may be right with your comment but what would you rather be? Right or employed?

  15. It does not surprise me that those 5 things are good character traits for an interview. What does surprise me is if the interviewer hired that person. The last interview I went to did not get that far, I was whisked out of the office after about a five minute interview knowing there were other potential interviewee’s in the waiting area. I studied the questions presented before the interview, but they never came into play. It would be interesting to know if that person was hired, because of those traits.

  16. I would agree that those are all great things a potential employer wants to hear. I would add that in conveying these five tings, the candidate must also back it up with examples – otherwise it just sounds like the typical “I’m a people person” statement.

  17. A good adjunct to point 5 is, dont bag your previous or current employer. No matter how bad things are, or have been, dumping on your employer only makes it that much harder to believe you will be loyal and professional to this one. Speaking highly of a current or former employer has been a real key to getting jobs in my experience, in fact I have been congratulated for it in interviews.

  18. Very interesting and I am sure useful, thank you! Though, almost self-evident.

    However, if all of us now upon having read the above start giving exactly the same promises at interviews provided that hiring managers also read around, just how convincing do I sound to a potential employer at my next interview?

  19. Great tips about what employers want to hear in an interview! Whether you’re speaking with a hiring manager in person or through online video, your interviewer wants to know you can hit the ground running and add real value to the company. Showing through your answers and enthusiasm you’re a loyal employee who is ready and willing to take on new challenges is the best way to go from superstar candidate to new hire.

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