As you start submitting resumes and searching for your next employer, set your sites high. You don’t want just any job…you want the right job. You want a great company that will respect your talents and work as hard for you as you do for them. And as it happens, great companies and mediocre ones look for different types of candidates during the hiring process. Here are a few examples.

Great employers appreciate self-direction.

If you have a diverse background, and you’ve held multiple jobs in different industries, stronger employers will appreciate your life experience and your willingness to learn new things. Well rounded, flexible employers appreciate well rounded, flexible candidates who are always learning and growing. Weaker employers will look for candidates who have never stepped away from a clearly marked path.

Great employers appreciate signs of backbone.

Experienced employers know that strong candidates don’t come cheap…and they aren’t desperate. These employers keep the selection process short, respectful, and on-task. They don’t ask for more than three rounds of interviews, and they keep these sessions meaningful. They know that endless rounds of meandering, unpleasant interviews will drive away talented candidates who have access to better offers. Count yourself among this group. Have confidence, be clear with your interviewers about what you want, and grill them (politely) as much as they grill you.

Great employers appreciate a clear sense of direction.

What will happen if you step into your interview and your employer simply kicks back and hands the conversation over to you? What if, instead of a series of scripted questions, your interviewer simply says “Tell me about yourself!” and then expects you to run the entire show for the next 30 minutes? Will you be ready? You’d better be. Make sure your elevator pitch is tight, polished, and ready for prime time.

Great employers expect candidates to do their own research.

If you’re heading toward your last interview session and you know that your potential employers are about to make an offer, get busy. Do some serious research and make sure you know exactly how much your work is worth. While mediocre employers may present you with a rock bottom offer and expect you to say yes or no, the best ones will encourage you to make the first move. They’ll expect you to take responsibility for your own destiny.

Great employers want candidate who shape the direction of the company and their own careers.

Top employers want employees who will speak up when they have a suggestion that might make the company better. They want employees who won’t be afraid of change and growth. And they want employees who can adapt to the culture around them while also pushing back and shaping that culture for the better. For more on how to show off this side of your personality and make a great impression—with the right people—reach out to the staffing team at Expert.

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