Top 10 Things Companies Look For When Making Hiring Decisions: Part 1

When interviewing candidates on campus for open positions, there are several things we look for when determining whether or not we will move forward with an offer. To give you a competitive edge, I would like to share these characteristics with you. I can’t imagine that across industries/companies the general qualifications are very different. Happy interviewing!

1.  Presentation

The first thing a recruiter notices when you show up for an interview is your overall presentation. Are you prepared? Do you exude a professional image? Are you wearing professional attire? In order to meet the presentation requirements you should be able to answer yes to all of these questions. Arriving to an interview late and/or wearing inappropriate clothing, piercings, etc. will not give you a top ranking in this category.

2.  Work Experience

Most positions have a minimum work experience requirement. It is vital to display your level of knowledge for the industry you are applying as well as being able to back that up with your experience. This will show you are well versed.

For example, the seniors we interview interested in our Corporate Management Training program need to have a minimum of 9 months hospitality experience. Understanding the work experience requirement prior to applying will help you avoid wasting your time as well as the Recruiter’s.

Being honest about your previous experience is also important. You don’t want to get yourself into a situation where you are not qualified as it may hinder your future success. Thoroughly read the job description and ask questions prior to applying/setting up an interview. By doing this the Recruiter may determine there is another opportunity that is a better fit for you.

3.  Service Orientation

In the hospitality industry service is extremely important as it is our job to provide service excellence to our guests. This is the same for any company that provides customer service to clients. Being able to provide examples of times when you went above and beyond for a guest/client is key. This demonstrates your commitment and understanding of the importance of service. Also being able to explain situations where a guest/client was unhappy and how you were able to turn things around through service recovery will really help you shine in this area.

4.  Communication Skills

The way you speak throughout an interview can make or break you. Speaking grammatically correct and articulating your thoughts with confidence and poise will put you on the top of the Recruiter’s list. Communication is so important to any organization. The inability to communicate effectively is unacceptable. Choosing your words wisely and speaking in a professional manner is a must. Using swear words or slang can really turn off the Recruiter. Also using words/phrases such as “like,” “um,” “ya know,” etc. can come across as immature, making the Recruiter question your ability to lead. Practice makes perfect, so if you are having difficulty with this area sign up for mock interviews or other programs through your Career Services department to help you prepare.

5.  Organizational Skills

Many positions require you to be organized, so you need to be able to communicate to the Recruiter examples of how you manage your time and tasks effectively. Think back on a group project that you had for school. What was your role? What was your plan for completing the project? How did you come up with it? What challenges did you face? How did you overcome these challenges? What was the final outcome? Looking back, what would you have done differently? Showing your ability to prioritize, multi task and ultimately be successful through real life examples will help you during this portion of the interview.

Stay tuned for my next post where I will be revealing the remaining top 10 attributes a company looks for when making hiring decisions!


Heidi is one of 3 College Recruiting Managers for Hyatt. She is responsible for recruiting top talent  at hospitality universities across the country, primarily for Hyatt’s Corporate Management Training program and Corporate Internship program.  Heidi visits up to 14 campuses twice a year to promote the Hyatt brand and college programs. Most recently Heidi has become involved with External Functional Recruitment for Culinary Management positions in North America. She earned her BS Degree in Interpersonal Communication with a minor in Business from Ohio University in 2001. Heidi has been with Hyatt for 9 years and started in the programs she now recruits for. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus blog at

Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Things Companies Look For When Making Hiring Decisions: Part 2
  2. Ten Things I Wish Knew Before I Entered the “Real World”: Part 1
  3. It’s the Little Things

One Response to “Top 10 Things Companies Look For When Making Hiring Decisions: Part 1”

  1. Thanks for the tips Ms Radakovich. I have applied for a position in the Corporate Management Training Program, and i am looking forward to use your insightful tips for my interview. I am eagerly waiting for the email from the human resources.

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