The job market is ultra-competitive right now thanks to the pandemic. Even those applicants who are highly qualified are facing some really stiff competition and struggling to land a new job. What if you knew a few secrets that could help you standout more in the eyes of hiring managers?

Angela Civitella, a business leadership coach and founder of Intinde, says there are five things that hiring managers look for that they don’t generally tell you:

•  They don’t expect you to be perfect: Think about the last time you went on a job interview. You probably spent hours picking out the perfect outfit, preparing the perfect answers and put together the perfect looking resume. Hiring managers do expect a lot of things, but one thing they do not expect is perfection. In fact, one typo on your cover letter, taking a little longer to respond to a question or other little imperfections shows them that you are human.

•  They are looking more and more for someone with high EQ (Emotional Intelligence): Being smart in the traditional sense is all well and good, but how do you interact with customers and colleagues? Do you think before you speak? Are you empathetic toward others? Do you make your point known or go with the crowd? EQ has become the new IQ and it is here to stay.

•  The most important skill they want you to have is being a problem solver: There are going to be many candidates who are just as qualified as you. The most important skill hiring managers look for is what you do when things go wrong and the pressure is on. Will you have a meltdown or be able to think of a potential solution with the resources available to you? Be ready for the question: Tell me about a time when things didn’t go according to plan and how you solved the problem.

•  It’s not what you say but how you say it: There will be many candidates who are well-qualified for the position. One characteristic that hiring managers look for is presentation skills. In other words, do you speak with confidence? Are you passionate? Do you offer personal experiences and stories to back up your point? Are you persuasive? How you speak is just as important as what you say.

•  They expect you to have some knowledge about the company: Do yourself a favor before you go on any job interview: learn a little about the company. You can be the most qualified candidate in the room, but if you show up and don’t know anything about the company, it shows that you are unprepared and leaves hiring mangers wondering just what kind of work ethic you really have. Familiarize yourself with the background of the company, what the current market is like, who the key people are and who are their competitors.