Employers are interested in your skills, not your CV.
They want to know how you can add value to the organisation.
The preparation to ace an interview needs to start well before you even start applying for jobs.
In fact most of the universal skill sets needed by employers cannot be developed in a few days or months.
You need to identify these skills, understand your current skill sets and create a systemic plan bridge your skills gap over at least 1-2 years.
This article recommends the top 10 skills you need to build for your next job interview.
It is about having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, opinions, personal values, beliefs, thoughts, motivation and emotions.
Until you are aware of what controls your thoughts, emotions, words, and behavior, you will have difficulty making changes in directing of your life, connecting with others and setting and achieving your goals.
Employers prefer exposure to information technology for e-mailing, word processing, spreadsheet, information search, making presentations, marketing and many other tasks.
Some more specific technology oriented skills relate to the ability to use IT applications, programming language, e-commerce sites, social media and blogs, and e-banking.
You should be acutely aware of how technology has transformed companies and industries, in recent times.
3. Communication Skills
Professionals spend more time each day on e-mails, reports, proposals, operating procedures, memos etc.
So it is imperative that employees are able to write succinctly and converse effectively.
Writing skills can differentiate job candidates from one another.
A special case of writing skills is the ability to write a short, concise and well-formatted CV.
Remember you are as good as your CV. At the same time, ability to articulate clearly with minimal and appropriate words is equally important.
4. Global Outlook
Today’s world is characterised by diminishing boundaries.
Most businesses look at cross- border transactions and interactions.
So it is imperative to develop skills on this front.
For all practical purposes you may be applying for a job that requires adept handing of time zones, understanding different behavioural patterns, and appreciating diverse cultures and communication nuances so critical to avoid any deterrents.
In today’s competitive work culture, to think global is to be smart.
5. Teamwork and Interpersonal skills
The ability to work well with others while pursuing a common goal is a key employability skill.
Interpersonal skills are essential to positively interact with other people.
Good interpersonal skills allow you to participate effectively as a member of a team, satisfy customers and clients' expectations, negotiate, make decisions, manage your time efficiently, take responsibility, and work effectively with other employees.
Hiring managers look for the ability to work effectively with peers and supervisors, and in a cross-functional space.
6. Learning and Assimilation
Ability to learn to learn and assimilate is a crucial skill in today’s rapidly changing world replete with frequent changes in technology, policies and products.
This helps in your ability to undertake new tasks, filling-in the skill gaps you may and adapt to the task at hand.
Job profiles are constantly changing and evolving, and you must show an openness to learn and grow with this change.
7. Problem Solving, Decision-Making and Critical Thinking
Problem solving is all about dealing with the root cause of the situation or a difficulty and finding the right answers.
This includes ability to think, logically as well as creatively, to generate possible solutions, selecting a solution and identifying a set of actions.
Creative thinkers are innovative and inventive, and are more likely to devise new ways of doing things that add value to the work environment, making systems and procedures more efficient.
8. Quantitative and Numerical Skills
Apart from the basic numerical skills, employers also look for ability to analyse quantitative data, interpret graphs and tables and use basic statistics.
In addition, using an electronic spreadsheet for data analysis is an essential skill. You should also be comfortable with different time zones, ability to convert currencies and deal with numbers across international metrics.
9. Entrepreneurial skills
Entrepreneurship is about starting new businesses on your own or within an organisation.
Employers, today, look for entrepreneurial skills in potential employees.
Ability to envision and see the big picture, connect with the ground reality and plan for the next steps is important.
Taking initiative, being persistent and learning from mistakes can help you and your organisation to achieve goals.
Employers also look for risk taking ability and being resilient -- all key traits of entrepreneurship.
Employers probably respect personal integrity more than any other value.
Do ensure that your CV is accurate and does not contain anything wrong or misleading.
Most employers also verify the credentials of the candidates and their skills by checking their online presence.
They may do internet search, read your LinkedIn profile, tweets and blogs.
It makes a lot of sense to leverage the power of cyberspace and social media.
Employers aspire for universal skills across academic disciplines.
The trick is to communicate clearly that you possess those skills. Now that you have employability skills identified, you should focus on improving them continuously.
You are now set to ace an interview. Good Luck.
Lead image used for representative purposes only. Credit: Patrick T Fallon/Reuters
The author Ajay Mohan Goel is executive vice president, Wadhwani Foundation