5 Qualities That Make Hiring Managers Say “WOW!”

Wow_march2012_webWhen you go in for an interview, what will set you apart from your competition? Odds are, the other hopefuls interviewing for the position have as much, if not more, experience than you. How can you impress recruiters and prove to them that you are the right person for the job?

They want to see if you’re the right fit for the company. They’re looking between the lines of your résumé for what you have beyond your work experience. To really make a good impression, you should project certain qualities that will make you a more desirable candidate. What qualities are they, you ask? Well, here are five of them that can make a recruiter or interviewer say “Wow!”


There are countless books, websites, and seminars about the best kinds of answers to interview questions. Job seekers are asked these questions to see if they have the ability to answer them competently. But, they’re also looking for something more. Many hiring managers want to see passion for their company, the position, and the industry. They want to know why candidates are truly excited about the opportunity, rather than viewing it as just another job interview. The truly passionate candidates are not only likely to excel in their role, but will also remain involved in their responsibilities and motivate those around them.


Being professional is something that is hard to teach. It’s a mixture of motivation, presence, and hard and soft skills. To be professional, you have to project an image that you are actively listening to what recruiters are saying and take interest in the job.


You can really stand out among your competition when you do your homework. If you can demonstrate your interest in an employer and the issues they’re facing while showcasing your research skills, you can leave a lasting impression on hiring managers. Take the time to research and get to know the recruiter and interviewer, and you’ll find a quicker connection and develop a stronger rapport.


Confidence is a key component in every aspect of your job search. When networking or interviewing, it’s important to exhibit knowledge, modesty, openness, gratitude, and skilled verbal and written communication. Recruiters should be able to see that you can take tasks, jobs, or projects given to you and run with them. Prove that you are proactive and can handle the job requirements through your handshake, body posture, and communication skills.

Providing Humor

The hiring process can be a long and often trying process. Recruiters and hiring managers listen to the same pre-prepared answers from candidate after candidate. A job seeker with professionalism and a sense of humor lightens the atmosphere, but be careful if now you decide to use humor when talking to hiring managers. If humor isn’t a part of your everyday personality, think twice before taking it too far in an interview. If it doesn’t come naturally, there’s a bigger chance that it can backfire. You don’t have to crack jokes, but you can bring a light-hearted and happy attitude that can brighten the mood when talking to recruiters.

There are a lot of different things employers look for in a new hire. On top of work history, job experience, and specific skill sets, there are other traits that can help propel job candidates above the large number of job seekers vying for the same job. If you excel at any one of these five qualities, use it to your advantage. It could make the difference between silence and a call back. What are some ways you have shown one of the five traits when interviewing with an employer?


  1. jesse

    Wow. This is a great example of an article that promises much but delivers little. How about some practical tips on posture, professionalism or poise?

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      Jared Cole

      Jesse, Thanks for your honest feedback. There is only so much we can fit into a blog post to make it accessable to those with time contraints while still being helpful. If you use our search option, you can find several stories that give practical advice on posture, professionalism, and poise. Thanks again for visiting and let me know if there are topics you would like to discussed.

      1. T. Reboulet

        Hello, regarding “5 Qualities That Make Hiring Managers Say “WOW!” –

        I thought you would want to know that at least one of your links is broken (it returned a 404 error).

        Otherwise – nice article.

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          Jared Cole

          Thanks for the catch, T. Reboulet! We’re still hammering out a few kinks in the new design. Thanks for your patience!

        1. Post
          Jared Cole

          Glad you enjoyed it, Linda! Let me know if there’s anything else about career success you’d like me to cover!

  2. David O.

    A great article indeed, but one must always remember that you “may” have gotten an interview just to appease someone that feels the boss had already picked a person from in-house. So all the “right moves” may be for naught, but for practice. Practice with confidence.

  3. Christine

    Jesse, do the research. Not everything needs to be handed to you. If you have to ask, you better get busy, and practice, practice, practice. Sometimes the best advice in for an interview is – be yourself and have fun. David O is right on the mark.

  4. Lawrence

    I have found most of these to be true.
    Doing your research on the company and fore most being yourself.
    Do not fake it.
    An employer is looking to hire honest people not someone who pretends to be who they are not in an interview.
    So be honest and be yourself.
    keep it professional on track and knowledgeable.
    Approach your new perspective employer with self confidence in your abilities it will show through. Speak the language of the job you are applying for. Learn to read your interviewer. They will tell you what they are looking for… but you must be perceptive enough to hear what and how they are saying it. Some interviewers welcome casual humor… speaking of the day or small events. Make each comment and action count when you are interviewed.. be relaxed.. but not relaxed like you are at home. your first impression is here how you look, carry yourself and how people interpret your body language and your language skills when you speak they are all weighed and measured within the first 15 seconds of your interview. A well written resume will get you to the interview, but you have to sell yourself to that interviewer. I find being direct, knowing my goals and speaking of how those will in the long run benefit my new employer and how as a team we can do great things. This keeps it professional and shows a personal interest in what you are doing and who you are working for and with. A willingness to learn and adapt is a big seller and often a point many fail to relate to a perspective employer. well that’s my 2 cents on interviews and employers. Always look to learn more and to adapt to the situation.

  5. Kerry

    Has a Admin Assist job interview yesterday, fingers are crossed and when it got to the question, “So why should we hire you? I answered with the first thing that came to my mind with ” Because I’m me!” in a happy bouncy tone. Got a laugh and then I went on to elaborate on some of my assets etc. Hope it works I should hear by then beginning of next week.

  6. sandi

    One question I have been asked at several intervies is “Tell me a time you had an disagreement with one of your co-workers and how did you handle it?” This answer allows the company to understand how you handle controversy.

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      Jared Cole

      Conflict resolution and stress management are qualities many hiring managers and recruiters look for. Giving specific examples of how you successfully resolved issues and increased productivity or morale after the conflict can help you stand out from your competition.

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