6 Candidate Traits Every Hiring Manager Should Look for

By Kyra McCue on June 18th, 2021
As a hiring manager, choosing the perfect candidate for a job can be difficult at times. How are you supposed to decide when everyone is qualified and has the same amount of experience? What if someone only looks like the perfect candidate on paper? Candidates who not only meet the basic qualifications of the role but also possess certain traits will be more open to learn, work better on a team, and generally represent your company well.

Below is a list of 6 signs to look for during the interview process that indicate you have found a good candidate:

1. Authenticity

It may seem obvious but look for someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves. A good candidate feels comfortable showing vulnerability, especially when asked what their biggest weakness is. You should leave the interview feeling like you know who they are as a person and not just who they are as a job applicant.

2. Preparation

While you may not want to hire someone who seems stiff or over-rehearsed, a good candidate should be confident explaining their resume and show that they have researched your company prior to being interviewed. Showing up well-informed is a great indicator that a candidate is excited about the opportunity to work with your company. Glassdoor says that an ideal candidate should know the company mission statement, core values, and history of the organization.

3. Confidence

While too much confidence can be a red flag, there is something attractive about a person who knows the value that they bring to the table. Self-confident candidates can often communicate more effectively, work better under pressure, and solve problems faster. They also are more likely to have a positive mindset and “can-do” spirit, which are qualities that many leaders look for from members of their team.

4. Honesty

Ultimately, no candidate is perfect. The important thing is that the person you’re interviewing owns up to their weaknesses and is willing to grow from their mistakes. By being honest about what they don’t know or have experience with, a candidate shows they are self-aware and open to accepting accountability for the things they can improve on. Their honesty is also a great sign that this person is prepared to grow within your company long-term.

5. Compassion and Consideration

Was the candidate on time? Were they polite? Did they thank you after the interview? These things may seem trivial, but they provide great insight into a candidate’s personal values. Hiring kind and respectful people is crucial for maintaining a strong company culture, and it also makes work more enjoyable for everyone involved.

6. Persistence

Finally, it’s important for job seekers to follow up after their interviews. Sending a thank you note to an interviewer is not only a sign that the candidate is still serious about the job, but it also proves that they are committed to working toward their goals. Of course, too much persistence can be overwhelming, so if the candidate is being a “pest” and contacting you every few days, then they may not be as good of a candidate as you thought.

While trying to check the boxes for technical qualifications, remember to also assess candidates by the values they practice, which can truly make or break a team.

What are some of the telltale signs of a good candidate that you look for? Comment below!