5 Traits to Look for When Hiring Your Next Employee


When growing your team, pay attention to the character of those you interview. Candidates are more than their resume. Sure, you want someone with the necessary skills and experience to excel in the position, but they also need to have the right personality. The people who power your company have the ability to make or break its success, so choose wisely.

5 Must-Have Character Traits in a Candidate

Before extending a job offer, make sure the person has these five character traits:

  1. Drive: It’s great having employees who do as they’re told, but that alone isn’t always enough. You want individuals who take initiative and push themselves. People who do the absolute minimum to earn a paycheck don’t push your company to succeed. It’s important to seek candidates who can be productive throughout day, without being babysat. Choose motivated people who enjoy exceeding expectations. Determine if a candidate has the level of drive you need by asking open-ended interview questions to gain a better sense of what motivates them.
  2. Versatility: Things don’t always go as planned, so you need a team of flexible employees who are willing to pitch in whenever and wherever they’re needed. Often times this requires people to help out in other departments and in roles not listed in their job description. Find out if a candidate is a team player by asking them about problems they have helped solve in the past and how they work as part of a group.
  3. Positivity: A candidate might have the perfect resume, but if they have a negative personality, you don’t want them on your team. Remember, skills can be learned, but personality traits are innate. You don’t want to spend your days working with someone who will bring you and your team down. Instead, you need a staff filled with positive and enthusiastic people who enjoy working together and helping your organization succeed. Gauge a candidate’s level of positivity by paying close attention to their body language and their general demeanor.
  4. Accountability: No one is perfect, but you want to hire individuals that hold themselves accountable when something they are responsible for goes wrong. The last thing you need is someone pointing fingers instead of owning their mistakes and learning from them. Furthermore, a lack of accountability can hurt working relationships and negatively impact productivity. If that type of behavior continues, it could eventually lead to a toxic culture and higher employee turnover. Determine if a candidate struggles with accountability by asking questions about when they made a mistake. What happened and how did they learn from their mistake? What did they do to ensure that it didn’t happen again?
  5. Integrity: The last thing you want is an employee that you can’t trust. After all, you need to be able to depend on them. Instead of asking a single direct question to determine their honesty, pay attention to the little details throughout the interview. Look and listen for inconsistencies between their resume and their answers. If something seems off, dig a little and see if they stumble over their answers. Pay attention to the eye contact and body language when they respond.

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