What Employers look for

It's not just your subject knowledge that will get you the job.

When looking for work, you will often here people talking about personal skills such as learning how to behave and how to communicate well with people. As you move through your course, day by day, your experience will grow and by the time you leave College, you’ll be job ready, already. Here are some of the skills that employers are also looking for. If you're about to go for an interview, think about how you can show examples of your experience in these.

  • Time Management
  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Motivation
  • Knowledge
  • Resourcefulness
  • Initiative
  • Communication Skills
  • Resilience
  • Team Work

Time Management

The ability to meet deadlines and juggle different projects is essential in the world of work. Employers look for people who can understand how to prioritise tasks and make sure that things get done in a timely way.


PRACTice interview question:

“Give an example of a time when you’ve had to prioritise your workload and explain how you did this.”

Dave, NB Group


An employer will want to know that you’ll be committed to your job and would be prepared to make additional commitments when it’s needed.


Interview question:

“Give two examples of when you have gone above and beyond what was expected of you. Why did you choose to do this and what did your additional commitment enable you to achieve?”

Lesley, Metro Radio


Are you open to others and are you able to listen, co-operate and are sensitive to the different opinions and views? An employer wants to know that you'll respect your team mates and those that you work with.


Interview question:

“Give an example of when you have had to demonstrate respect for others and explain how you handled the situation.”

Paul, onebestway


Employers want people who are prepared to go that extra mile and have the drive to achieve and overcome setbacks.


Interview question:

“Give an example of when you’ve had to handle a pressured situation and explain the process you went through on that occasion.”

Gavin, metrocentre


They say knowledge is king and showing that you can prepare yourself with the right information to do your job is essential.


Interview question:

“Give an example of when you’ve had to research and prepare for a specific situation (meeting, event, presentation) and explain how you achieved this.”

Barry, The Works


People want to hire people who can think on their feet and solve problems when they come up against them.


Interview question:

“Give an example of an occasion where you’ve been unable to answer an enquiry and explain how you dealt with it and what you learned.”

Sue, The Radio Place


Finally, can you use your initiative to solve problems effectively when you need to?


Interview question:

“Give an example of a time when you’ve been left to complete a task under your own initiative. How did you decide what to do and how did you do it?”

Anne, NewcastleGateshead Initiative

Communication Skills

Employers are looking for people with good communication skills. By that they mean both written and spoken communications. That you can write well, present ideas and information in a logical way and use appropriate language.


Interview question:

“Give an example of when you’ve been asked to use your communication skills to teach someone else. How did you go about it and were you successful”

Phil, re: production


Are you able to bounce back when things don’t go the way you expected? Employers want to know that you can adapt to stress and adversity.

Interview question:

“Give an example of when you thought you were unfairly treated. Explain what you did to overcome this situation.”
Steph, First Class Supply

Team Work

An employer will want to know that you can work as part of a team. By this they want to know that you can contribute and make a contribution by working with others.


Interview question:

“Give an example of when you had to work as part of a team to achieve something. What skills did you display and what role did you play?”

Christine, Amacus