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The one quality that you won’t find on a resume

April 2, 2015, 11:30 AM UTC
Businesspeople with resume
Photograph by Getty Images/Image Source

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What are three tips for nailing a job interview?” is written by Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee.

Early-stage startups are looking for candidates who can wear multiple hats and are willing to do whatever it takes to execute on tasks—all with a positive attitude. You need to show you can add immediate value, help grow the company, and thrive under uncertainty. Here are three important questions to ask yourself before the interview:

How would you start adding value if hired tomorrow?
Startups are naturally fast-paced, so you will need to provide specific examples of what you can bring to the table right off the bat. Start by discussing your strengths and elaborate on how those strengths are aligned with the job description. Remember that you’re not just convincing your interviewer of your competence, but you’re also giving them talking points to help make the case for your hire to the rest of the organization. This is an opportunity to show your ability to prioritize tasks and demonstrate your problem solving abilities.

Did you do your homework?
When you walk in that door, make sure you know everything you can about the company you’re interviewing for. That means reading their blog, downloading white papers, finding news clippings, etc. Prove that you invested time into learning about the company and the industry as a whole. An interviewer won’t expect you to be an expert on their product, but doing your homework will help you ask insightful questions. Show that you are engaged and are eager to take the initiative to learn more.

Can you demonstrate the intangibles?
Lastly, make sure that you are exuding genuine excitement for the both the company and the role. This is an intangible that can’t be explained on a resume, but a quality that every employer wants. If you can prove that you are willing to work hard, be a team player, and are passionate about the company you will definitely have a leg up on the other candidates.

Read all answers to the Leadership Insider question: What are three tips for nailing a job interview?

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When is the best time to schedule a job interview? by Ryan Smith, CEO and founder of Qualtrics.

Why it’s okay to get personal in a job interview by Eva Gordon, vice president of training and development at The Container Store.

How social media can actually help you get hired by Andres Traslavina, senior global recruiter at Whole Foods Market.

3 key questions to ask yourself before a job interview by Charles Galda, CIO of technology centers and services at GE Capital.

Hiring 101: How to ace a job interview by Mike Del Ponte, co-founder of Soma.

College graduates: How to land your first job by David DeWolf, president and CEO of 3Pillar Global.

Why you should treat a job interview like a first date by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

Why an impressive resume won’t get you hired by Sunil Rajaraman, co-founder of

Birchbox co-CEO: How to nail a job interview by Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox.