Beyond the Resume: 5 Traits That Make an All-Star Employee

Beyond the Resume: 5 Traits That Make an All-Star Employee

Building a winning team is about more than just hiring employees with the right technical skills and experience. It's about identifying those intangible traits that make an all-star employee stand out from the rest. From communication and problem-solving skills to adaptability and teamwork, these traits can differentiate between a good and a great employee. Hiring candidates with these traits can significantly impact your organization's success, leading to better collaboration, increased productivity, and a more positive work environment.

So, how can you identify these traits during the job interview process? In this blog, we'll explore 5 traits you should look for in job interviews to identify top talent and build a winning team.

5 Winning Traits to Spot in Job Interviews

Identifying all-star employees requires a keen eye, careful evaluation, and an understanding of what traits are essential for success. Here are the top 5 traits that you should look for in job interviews to identify top talent for your organization.

Strong Work Ethic:

A strong work ethic is more than showing up on time and doing the minimum required. It's about being dedicated to your work, taking pride in it, and consistently striving for excellence. According to a survey by LinkedIn, 73% of hiring managers say this is the most important trait when evaluating job candidates. Employees with a strong work ethic are reliable, self-motivated, and committed to meeting their goals and deadlines.

One way to assess a candidate's work ethic is to ask about their past work experience and accomplishments. Look for times when they have taken on extra responsibilities, worked long hours to meet a deadline, or gone the extra mile to ensure a project's success. Also, pay attention to their attitude and enthusiasm for their work. Employees with a strong work ethic are often passionate about what they do, and their enthusiasm can be contagious, inspiring others to work hard and strive for excellence.


The business landscape constantly evolves, and employees who can adapt quickly and thrive in change are invaluable to any organization. Adaptability involves pivoting quickly, learning new skills, and adjusting to new technologies and processes. Adaptable employees are often resourceful, creative, and willing to take on new challenges. They can help your organization stay ahead of the curve, innovate, and thrive in a rapidly changing business landscape.

To assess a candidate's adaptability:

  1. Ask about their past experiences with change and how they have handled it.
  2. Look for times when they have successfully adapted to a new situation or technology.
  3. Pay attention to their mindset and approach to learning.

Team Player Mentality:

Collaboration is essential for success in many roles and industries. Employees with a team player mentality are often effective communicators, flexible, and empathetic. They understand the importance of working together to achieve a common goal and are willing to put the team's needs ahead of their own.

To assess a candidate's teamwork skills, ask about their past experiences working in a team environment. Look for examples of times when they have collaborated effectively with colleagues or resolved conflicts within a team. Also, pay attention to their communication style and approach to feedback. Employees with a team player mentality often have strong communication skills, are receptive to feedback, and are willing to compromise to achieve a common goal.

Communication Skills:

Effective communication is critical in almost every role and industry. Employees who have strong communication skills are often articulate, clear, and persuasive. They can convey their ideas effectively, build rapport with colleagues and clients, and collaborate effectively. According to a report by LinkedIn, the most in-demand soft skill for 2021 was communication, with 56% of hiring managers saying they valued it the most.

To assess a candidate's listening skills:

  1. Pay attention to how they respond to your questions during the interview.
  2. Look for signs that they are actively engaged in the conversation, such as making eye contact, nodding their head, or asking follow-up questions.
  3. Ask about their experiences working with clients or colleagues and how they approached communication.

Problem-Solving Skills:

No matter what industry or role you're hiring for, problem-solving skills are essential. Employees who have strong problem-solving skills can identify issues, analyze data, and develop creative solutions to complex problems. They are often resourceful, analytical, and able to think outside the box. In a survey by Deloitte, 92% of respondents said that problem-solving skills were important for their organizations, and 68% said they were actively trying to develop these skills in their employees.

To assess a candidate's problem-solving skills, ask about their past experiences with problem-solving. Look for examples when they identified an issue and developed a creative solution. One way to assess a candidate's problem-solving skills is to present them with a hypothetical scenario and ask how they would approach the problem. This can help you gauge their creativity, analytical skills, and ability to think independently.

Last Words

In today's competitive job market, building a team of all-star employees who can help your organization thrive is more important than ever. While technical skills and experience are certainly important, intangible qualities like communication, problem-solving, and adaptability can set top performers apart.

By focusing on these key traits during the hiring process, you can identify candidates who have the potential to be true assets to your team. And if you're a job seeker looking to improve your performance, these traits can help you stand out from the crowd and achieve your career goals.

So, whether you're on the hiring side of the equation or looking to improve your job performance, keep these nine traits in mind and aim for all-star status. Who knows? You might just lead your team to victory.