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How to Show You Can Be a Responsible and Reliable Employee

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: August 04, 2015

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At Open Colleges, we want to make sure that nothing gets in the way of your career. We’re therefore running a series of blog posts, sharing tips and advice to help you successfully secure your first job after education.

After seeing research from the Australian Government showing that 12% of employers think young people need to be more responsible and reliable when it comes to their behaviours and approach to their job, we decided to focus on how these traits can impact your chances of getting hired.

Read on to find out more about why employee responsibility and reliability is important and how you can make sure these qualities shine through during your interview!

Why is employee responsibility and reliability important?

Although an interviewer will be reviewing you against a number of different criteria, from whether you appear to have the right attitude to work, to whether you present yourself well or have relevant work experience, they’re also looking to see whether you are a responsible and reliable person. That’s because these qualities can mean a lot within a business.

As a responsible and reliable person, you will be able to manage your time effectively, to ensure that you consistently get your work done to agreed deadlines.

You will also turn up to work on time, be prepared for meetings and be trusted to work on your own without constant supervision or micro-management. Your manager and colleagues should also be able to feel like they can rely on you for help and support wherever needed.

In an interview, how can you show that you are responsible and reliable?

In the Australian Government’s research employers highlighted 4 key areas that young people should focus on to show employee responsibility and reliability to demonstrate their reliability and sense of responsibility. We take a look at each of these in a little more detail:

1. "Need to remain working with a business for an acceptable period of time"

Employing someone can be quite a costly process and so businesses want to make sure that they find someone that is going to stick around whilst making a beneficial contribution towards the success of the business.

To understand whether they’ve found the right person, you may be asked a question such as “where do you see yourself being in the future?” or whether you have a “3 year plan”.

Make sure you give some consideration to this before your interview, to ensure you can show that you have set goals in your life and are a stable and reliable candidate.

2. "Turn up to shifts"

An employer wants to know that if they hire someone, they can be relied on to turn up to work and carry out their tasks without constant supervision. This reliability is increasingly important as flexible working becomes more popular within the workplace.

Give examples of times where you have been relied on, for example, did you have a part-time job during college at weekends, or did you dedicate your evenings to volunteering? Turning up on time requires organisation so give examples of when you were organised, but also find ways to actually show your skills during your interview.

A good place to start is to do your research, turn up on time and bring along a printed CV along with any other relevant materials.

3. "Be punctual"

Turn up to your interview on time, or preferably 5 or 10 minutes early to show that you take punctuality seriously. Plan your route in advance and allow extra time for traffic or public transport delays.

This will not only help you to create a good first impression, but the interviewer will also be filled with confidence that you will be able to turn up to work on time if you get offered the job.

4. "Show respect to colleagues and customers"

An employer wants to make sure that whoever they employ will be able to get on with the rest of the team as well as customers. Make sure you are polite and friendly throughout the application process, not just to the interviewer, but right from the second you step foot inside the company.

From speaking to the receptionist, to interacting with a member of staff showing you to the interview room, you never know who may be monitoring you.

At Open Colleges, we have one final piece of advice for you to consider - check your social media accounts! Many businesses may look at your profiles as part of their review process and a picture of you at 3am with your friends on a crazy night out may not give the reliable or responsible impression that you’re trying to achieve.

Therefore, either delete inappropriate posts and images or change your privacy settings so potential employers can’t see them.

If you have any other ways to show employee responsibility and reliability, share your suggestions with us:

If you’re looking for more help and advice, take a look at our infographic, “7 Tips for Landing Your First Job”.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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