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7 Qualities of the Successful Job Applicant

Beth GrousBy Beth Grous, Chief People Officer, TripAdvisor

For more than 20 years, I’ve helped companies grow their businesses by retaining and hiring top talent. When I speak with prospective hires, one question comes up a lot: What qualities do you look for in the ideal candidate?

There is one quality that I most frequently seek out.

I’m talking about passion.

You can teach most business skills, but passion, enthusiasm and drive are inherent traits. Passionate people bring energy. They persevere. Passion is the driving force when things get tough, and, in any company, things will get tough from time to time when there are new business challenges. Passion helps you accelerate during the good times, push through during the tough times, and find creative and innovative solutions. Passion enables you to see the world as a place where the focus is on possibilities, rather than on obstacles.

What does passion look like? It’s evident in the way candidates present themselves, their accomplishments and interests, and in the way they interact with others. Do they get excited when you discuss challenges and opportunities they might face in a new role?  Does their energy shine through? Are they inspired by what the future could look like, and do they want to be part of making that future a reality?

Passion is important, but it’s not the only thing that matters. It goes without saying that related experience and technical capability are important, too. Here are six more qualities that both recruiters and hiring managers may look for when assessing a candidate:

Leadership Not every manager is a leader, and vice versa. Leadership is about inspiring people to think bigger and accomplish more than they thought possible. It’s about building an exceptional team and motivating each other to work together to solve business problems. Leadership at all levels is important.

“Speed Wins” Attitude At TripAdvisor, “speed wins” is core to our culture. We test, learn and bring products to market quickly. So, we look for talented people who have a similar passion for getting a lot done, fast.

Focused on the Customer More than 375 million users visit TripAdvisor every month. Helping them plan and book the perfect trip is our mission. We seek out dedicated employees who understand we are in it to build the best possible product to serve our community.

Adaptability Change is inevitable, whether it’s the emergence of a new consumer need or the integration of a new software system. So, we look for candidates who are not only comfortable with change, but who embrace it.

Accountability We expect our employees to be accountable for themselves and their teams. We also believe in having measurable goals for everything we do. In fact, our CEO and Co-Founder Steve Kaufer has a note on his door that reads: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth measuring.”

Drive to Improve No one is perfect. That means there’s always room to grow. We look for talented professionals who are self-reflective, intellectually curious and interested in continually learning.

Does this sound like you? If so, I invite you to check out career opportunities at TripAdvisor.

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▶ Read more from the January 2016 newsletter.