An employee is worth more than their job titles, grades, and college degrees. Judging job applicants on these merits alone will make it harder to find the worker you are looking for and may cause you to pass up someone who would be great for your organization. So the question is this: What should you look for during job interviews? Here are six answers:

  1. Cultural fit. Your company culture must be built from the very beginning. Ask yourself if the applicant in front of you would help develop the corporate culture that you are cultivating. It can be a difficult thing to search for unless you already have an idea of what you want your company culture to be. Come up with a checklist and try to ask questions regarding the values you’ve chosen.
  2. Behavioral drives. Behavioral drives are important in determining how employees will act in the workplace. They tell us what motivates a person and can help predict on-the-job performance. When we have this information about a candidate, we can start to decide whether they’ll be a good fit in a job. This is what the company I work for, PI Midlantic, can help find during the hiring process.
  3. Passion. What happens when you ask them about what your company does? Do they get excited? Can you see the sparkle in their eyes when they talk? It’s no secret that workers who are enthusiastic about their job will work harder and longer when compared to their unengaged peers. Hire employees who are excited to be a part of your company and want to help bring your company to new heights. Their positive energy will surely transfer from person to person.
  4. Preparedness. How prepared did the interviewee come? Did they research what your company was about beforehand? A prepared worker is someone who is ready for success. They get ready ahead of time and are equipped to handle any obstacle in their way.
  5. Creativity. Every company needs innovation and every new hire could have the out-of-the-box thinking style that will help your company develop new and revolutionary ideas. Ask job applicants to explain how they would solve problems facing your industry. See what sort of answers they give.
  6. Emotional intelligence. People with high EQ have plenty of important skills such as high levels of self-control, the ability to empathize with others, and an understanding of how their emotions impact others. It is extremely important for employers to look for EQ in the hiring process. Some say that it is even more important than IQ.


A candidate’s job history is very relevant and some would argue that it’s the most important aspect for which you should look. Did they work at Google and graduate Stanford with a 4.0 GPA? That’s great! However, each candidate brings a lot of different things to the table. Someone can be skilled in a way that sets them apart from their peers. Pay attention to each person’s unique strengths and weaknesses – people are qualified, not quantified by a number on a page.