Proving These 4 Personality Traits Will Get You a Graduate Job

In a graduate job interview, you have one aim – to impress the employer.

Interviewers will ask questions about job experience, tasks in previous roles, overcoming challenges, and the specific skills you have developed. It’s also important for employers to get a sense of what a candidate’s long-term goals are, in the hope that they fit with the company’s objectives.

However, something that is often overlooked by candidates is their attitude. In the eyes of the employer, it can be even more crucial than their skillset.

Even though highly skilled, an employer will steer well clear of an employee with a bad attitude as they may cause all kinds of issues for their business.

Here are some of the key personality traits that employers look for during the hiring process:


It’s natural that candidates will want to highlight their positive qualities and skills and possibly glossing over weaknesses or failing to address them.

While candidates should have the ambition to stand out, this doesn’t mean you should make yourself out to be a flawless candidate – as let’s face it, that would be unrealistic for anyone.

Sometimes it’s obvious when a candidate is being dishonest. ‘Faking it’ can be off-putting. Other times, it’s not clear when someone is exaggerating or hiding something, but you’ll most likely be found out in the end.

A key sign of honesty is the willingness to admit flaws and mistakes. An ideal candidate won’t be afraid to admit that they are a work in progress. You need to be sure you’re able to express yourself authentically, by showing that you’re cooperative and willing to improve.


It’s important you’re able to show you’re able to do the job well – but also have an inner passion and enthusiasm for your work. If not, employers could be fearful of you affecting team morale and productivity. When employees don’t feel energised by the values and mission of the company they work for, the job can become mundane, rather than something to be excited about.

Businesses look very different when they are made up of passionate employees as opposed to a room of bored faces. A motivating workplace is full of focused, hard-working, and friendly teams. Everyone is aligned and working towards a common mission.

Employers can tell immediately if a candidate is passionate about the role during an interview, through their body language.

A willingness to take on challenges in your graduate job

Employers prioritise candidates who show a willingness to pursue and overcome challenges.

These will be the type of employees who are eager to grow in their role and are dedicated to their career development.

Candidates who are focused on pushing themselves and getting outside their comfort zone are highly employable in the eyes of an employer, as this attitude could help shape and grow their business.

On the other hand, employees who just want to be comfortable could hold the team back. Stagnant employees translate into a stagnant business.

In the job application and interview process, employers get an idea of candidates who are willing to go the extra mile by informing them of the barriers they’ve jumped over, how they’ve handled difficult situations and how ambitious their long-term goals are. If a candidate is vague and unsure about how they want to progress in their career, this could indicate an unwillingness to challenge themselves.

An active interest in others in the graduate job workplace

 In a job interview, employers can easily spot when a candidate has an active interest in others –from body language and their responses.

They won’t simply talk endlessly about themselves but will show attentiveness and an understanding of what is being discussed while making an effort to ask questions to display genuine interest.

Employers will also be able to spot when questions seem forced and mechanical.

The best candidates are those who are fascinated by the background, experience, abilities, and knowledge of others. A candidate who listens actively during an interview is likely to be empathetic to the needs, priorities, and concerns of other people in the business, as well as clients.

It is this kind of attitude that really helps to boost team co-operation and morale. Ideal candidates are passionate about learning from their co-workers and manager. They understand that others have a lot to offer them, in terms of a new perspective or skills.

Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency that specialises in sourcing candidates for marketing internship roles and giving out graduate careers advice. To browse graduate jobs, visit their website.