J. Kent's Blog - Articles for Employers and Job Seekers

Signs You’ve Found the Right Candidate

Posted by: Karen Booher on September 23rd, 2021

When interviewing candidates, most of us are aware of the obvious red flags – late for the interview, speaks poorly about a past employer, poor eye contact, gives excessively vague answers…

Aside from the actual qualifications for the job, hiring managers should make sure they pay attention to the green flags – indications that the candidate may be the right fit for your position and company. Here are some signs to look for:

1. They are well-prepared and have researched your company.

Informed candidates – those who have taken the time to research your company and the position in advance of their interview with you – can make high-quality hires.

To help determine their preparation, you can ask interviewees what they know about your company, the position for which they are interviewing, and why they are interested in working for your company. It is never a good sign if you get a blank stare back when asking any of the above questions.

2. They are enthusiastic, engaged, and interested.

It’s not just about what a candidate says – it’s about HOW they say it. The right candidate should be just as interested in your company as your company is in them. If you can see the enthusiasm in their body language and hear excitement in their voice, it’s a great sign.

It’s still surprising when someone actually admits the reason they are interested in your job is because of the pay, or the location. You want to look for candidates who are truly interested in their field and take pride in their work – not for those just looking for a way to pay the bills or to have a convenient commute.

3. They’re honest and can identify their shortcomings.

There is no perfect company, job, or employee. Every candidate will have some flaws, and the genuine ones will admit to them when asked.

You can ask what their shortcomings are but then don’t be surprised if they respond with “I’m a terrible cook”! It’s better to ask them to tell you about a mistake they made at work, or about a project that didn’t go well – and what they learned from that. The key is to identify candidates who are willing to learn and grow, not just trying to convince you that they’ve never made a mistake.

4. They communicate quickly and clearly.

One of the most time-consuming (and frustrating) parts of the recruiting process is coordinating phone screenings and interviews – particularly if candidates are slow to respond. But the best candidates respond quickly and concisely throughout the entire process, enabling things to go smoothly.

A prompt response shows interest; a slow response shows disinterest, or someone who is trying to stall. If a candidate needs more time to see the outcome of another opportunity they are also in the process with (and, by the way, this is normal), a good candidate will be open about this and not delay their return communication back to you. In this situation, it is best to grant them the time they need as long as it’s reasonable but be sure to communicate a deadline for them to respond to your offer.


Glassdoor for Employers, “6 Signs You’ve Found the Right Candidate”, by Glassdoor Team, July 29, 2021.

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