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Over the last few months I have been involved in the hiring for quite a few positions and it got me thinking; What are the most valued qualities that will get you hired or cause you to progress in your career? I realized that persistence is one of those that has come up again and again over the last 10 years of being involved in job openings from all angles.  I am not saying this is right or wrong, this is only  my observation over the years working with many different hiring managers, HR professionals, candidates, and my own job searches.

Persistence can be displayed in your behaviors with past jobs, projects and personal endeavors. It can also be found when trying to schedule an in person meeting, continuing to call back to find out an answer after the interview, continuing to maintain contact even when there is not a job opening at the company you want to work for. These same things also indicate a healthy level of want for both the job and the organization. If a hiring manager isn’t convinced you truly want the job, you will not be receiving an offer. Showing persistence is a great way to accomplish this.

When it comes to interviewing to uncover past behavioral patterns, tenacity can even be viewed as form of persistence. If a candidate has a track record of overcoming challenging situations where others might choose not to, this is an indicator they will likely behave the same way in the future.

All of this is for naught though if a candidate does not have humility. For example, I had a position come down to candidates last week and one had a track record of persistence and slightly more “conventional experience than the other. The second candidate had an equal amount of persistence but had a lifetime of humility built into his experiences.

We hired the second candidate quickly after completing the full interview process. This is a personal example but I have seen it time and again over the last 10 years. Most hiring managers don’t spend a lot of time interviewing, they spend time leading people in their respective industries. This means that they will often hire people that they subjectively feel comfortable with. Persistence without humility is a little like a nice car sitting on the side of the road after running out of gas; it might look good but eventually people realize it is not going anywhere. Persistence will come off as arrogance, annoying or even worse without humility.

These are a few (not all) of the qualities that give others a positive impression of job candidates.  I would encourage you to evaluate yourself in these two categories (persistence and tenacity.)

What other subjective qualities do you think make or break hiring decisions? (Good or Bad)