Three Things You Should Look For In A Job Candidate

Updated: Jul 21, 2020


You are a business owner with a vacancy that needs to be filled. Whether you chose to handle the entire process in-house or outsourced to a head hunter, the final decision is yours. The candidate walks in, gives a firm handshake and the interview begins. What are the three things you should look for in a job candidate?



Presentation

The candidate has taken the time to ensure that they are presenting the best version of themselves. If chosen, they will become a representative of your company. Think of this as the first date; we usually dress to impress. This does not necessarily mean that they are suited and booted, but the candidate has done their best to make a great first impression. Freshly laundered clothes, groomed hair, and nails, clean resume, eye contact; all of these leave lasting impressions. Not only does this make it easier for you to envision the candidate in the role but it also demonstrates their attention to detail.


Past Performance, Future Indicator

During the interview, you get the conversation going by asking the standard questions like 'Tell me about yourself', 'Why did you apply for this position?'. These questions are always good to ask but so are questions like, 'Tell me about a time you handled a conflict with a team member, manager, or client.' This question is usually followed by a notable pause from the candidate as they search for the answer that paints them in the best light. These questions are behavior-based and aim to provide insight on how a candidate has performed in the past and may perform in the future. Try to curate your question so that the candidate's response is relevant to the job at hand. Remember that circumstances and people change, so use this tool as a guide and not the rule.


Sincerity

What does sincerity have to do with the interview process? Everything! As the interview progresses, it is clear that the candidate has a researched, memorized spiel for every question you've presented to them. While preparation is a great sign, you are now left to consider whether or not the candidate meant what they said. Ask your candidate to elaborate on answers that seem rehearsed. Search for clues like changed posture, altered voice levels, diverted eye contact, or sweating; these are indicators of both nerves and lies. Sincerity is important when making the final decision. How would you rate the candidate's authenticity? Do they want the job or are they an opportunistic candidate? Are the skills they presented legitimate? Further consideration during the interview can save time and energy afterward.

The interview is complete, the candidate has left and the final decision is yours to make.  While the list above is far from exhaustive, it has equipped you with some things to consider. Did the candidate present well? Do they have a proven history of good performance and conduct?  Are they truly interested in the opportunity? While other factors may sway your decision, be sure to include these three essential indicators when selecting the best candidate for the job.

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