Take a look at most any job posting these days and you’ll be bombarded with a list of requirements.

Employers sometimes seem like they expect the world on a silver platter. But when it comes to ‘great expectations’, Charles Dickens said it best:

“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”

And our employment experts have plenty of evidence to inform us what recruiters are REALLY looking for from any candidate.

If you’re looking for work, then it’s important for you to know what employers are looking for, too! So let’s go over the 3 things that most motivate recruiters to send you an offer…

1. Do you make or save them money?

They say a penny saved is a penny earned. And, to employers, assessing the financial value that candidates bring to a business just makes ‘cents’!

Employers are people too, and not everything they do is motivated by their bottomline. But when it comes to building their business, this is priority number one.

On your resume, during interviews, and in any negotiations, be sure to emphasize how you can help save them money or make them money. Quantify whatever you can — from your past sales figures, to the number of additional roles you’ve taken on that saved your previous employer from hiring multiple employees.

Remember that time = money. So if you have experience in saving your employers time, that’s a great starting point to showcasing your value! Just be sure to translate that into actual dollars to emphasize the financial value you bring to the table.

2. How do you behave?

The number one line of questioning in any interview is about your behaviour.

Recruiters want to get a glimpse of how you work, analytically and emotionally. It’s important that your process makes sense for their business, and lines up with the expectations of the employer.

So, in order to understand your behaviour, you’ll almost certainly be asked a series of questions about past experiences where you demonstrated their ideal behaviour. Often, these come in the form of “STAR” questions, which ask you about a given:

  • Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
  • Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
  • Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
  • Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

The goal when asking these questions is to better understand your decision-making process. Employers want workers who they can trust to be responsible and act independently.

But if they can’t trust your behaviour, they won’t trust you to work for their business.

3. Why do you want to work here?

Please, please don’t say it…

We all know the funny answer is “because you can pay me”, but that’s not the answer employers are looking for!

Think about if you got the job. What would motivate you to come into work every day? What part of your daily activities would keep you engaged? What would you accomplish that would make you feel a sense of pride?

Employers aren’t looking to bring people on board who just fake their interest. And, truth be told, you don’t want to be that person either!

Working somewhere where you don’t share the same goals and values as your team members is not only going to hold the team back, it’s going to make your life miserable.

Employers also aren’t necessarily looking for someone who has the exact same goal as them. What they’re looking for is someone whose passion is going to contribute to the company.

For example, maybe you’re applying to be a sales person at a car dealership. Does your passion have to be sales? Not necessarily. Maybe you’re passionate about cars, and about challenging yourself to connect with clients on a personal level.

In this case, your passions still support the company culture that the employer might be looking for. To best understand how you line up with their company culture, make sure you do your research on the business before applying.

You can find out fairly early on whether you’re a perfect match, or perfectly not.


While employers might stack their list of expectations to the moon, it almost always boils down to these 3 questions.

What they want to know about you is how much value you bring to the team, how easy you are to work with, and whether you’re really invested in working for them.

If you can prove you’re the right person for the job based on these qualities, there isn’t any job you won’t qualify for!