9 Tips for Choosing the Right Candidate

A man and a woman having a conversation at work.

You’ve scoured hundreds of resumes and pre-screened a number of candidates over the phone. Your in-person interviews are scheduled and you’re confident that one of these candidates is the right fit for your team. Now it’s all about choosing the right candidate…

Save yourself from the headache of making the wrong decision. Use these 9 tips to help you evaluate candidates during the interview process:

1. Read Their Body Language

Look for clues about the candidate in arm movements, gestures, handshakes, and eye contact. The candidate’s body language can give you insight into how they’re feeling, what kind of person they are, and how interested they are in your opportunity.

2. Focus on Specific Experiences & Accomplishments

As an interviewer, you can look for candidate answers that follow the S-T-A-R method (situation, target, action, result). It’s a great way to gather insights about past experiences and important accomplishments.

3. Evaluate Their Work Ethic & Attitude

Be on the lookout for language that indicates the candidate has had difficulties working with colleagues or management in the past. And, ask questions about how the candidate handles heavy workloads, shifting priorities, and organization.

4. Find out If They’re a Life-Long Learner

Employees with great potential tend to be very curious. They want to continuously learn – adding new skills and tools to their arsenal of knowledge. This type of candidate can grow at your company and become an invaluable resource.

5. Get Feedback From People Who Weren’t in the Interview

You may opt to have a few team members interview candidates. This is a great way to involve the team in the hiring decision. But, it’s also important to get feedback from those who interacted with the candidate outside of the interview.

How did the candidate treat the front-desk employee who greeted him or her? If they received a tour of the office, what was the first impression from those whom briefly met the candidate?

6. Ask Them About Something They’re Passionate About

Want to learn more about the candidate? Be conversational and open. Work topics that candidates feel comfortable and confident talking about into your interview. You are more likely to collect valuable observations about them and find out what makes them “tick.”

7. Give Them a Project or Problem to Solve

The idea of giving candidates a project to do or a problem to solve isn’t so much about seeing their end result. It’s a smart way to determine how they develop processes and how they go about finding solutions.

8. Pay Attention to the Questions They Ask

All great candidates should have questions about the job, your company, and the culture. Are the questions insightful? Do they give an indication of how enthusiastic they are about the role? You can gain meaningful information about their level of interest, the way they diagnose problems, how they process data, and more.

9. Ask Yourself 5 Questions

There are 5 main questions you want to be able to answer before you offer a role to any candidate:

  • Can the candidate do the job?
  • Are they motivated to do the job?
  • Is the candidate interested in learning new skills?
  • Is the candidate coachable?
  • Are they a fit for your team culture?

Make sure you look beyond the skills and how candidates look on paper. The best candidate should have the most necessary skills but also have the potential to grow and be a culture fit for your team.

Think you’ve found the ideal candidate? Ensure they accept your offer with these tips for negotiating employee salaries!

Visit The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Digital Talent page for more information about how to choose the best candidates!

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