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How to find a right candidate in an interview? What are the top 5 qualities which helps you to choose the right candidates for the job?  An interviewer guide.


How to find a right candidate in an interview?


How to find a right candidate in an interview has no fixed formula. You may be a B-School pass out but your textbooks cannot tell you exactly how to select a right candidate.

Well, you may be thinking that with time you can be an expert hiring officer. But if you listen to me, you need to check only 5 essential qualities to come to a decision.

So what are those top 5 qualities which help you to choose the right candidates for the job? Before I pull the rabbit out of the hat, in this brief interviewer guide to help you find out the right job-match for your company, I would tell you an essential thing.

Are you taking a behavioural interview or not? Because, if you are not taking any behavioural interview of your candidates, you are missing the whole point.

You need to focus on the behavioural interview because it helps you to find out the soft skills along with the hard skills.  Soft skills predict the degree of job-specific competencies your candidates have. This helps you to find out the right candidate in an interview.

The term “soft skills” refers to a group of personal qualities and social attributes that make someone a strong employee.

The fact is that many candidates have the necessary degrees, skills, and knowledge to do a job, but, after they are hired, they may turn out to be a bad hire. 

Some of these hires who look so good on paper can be in reality unmotivated, dishonest or unsocial people, incapable of working as a team member with colleagues.

The top 5 qualities which help you find a right candidate in an interview:


1.  Assertiveness:

Effective communication skills are essential for the job candidates. If they are not assertive in communication you may be pretty sure they shall be in trouble in your organization sooner or later or create trouble.

Here are 7 Reasons Why Assertive Employees Are Preferred by Managers. You need to find a right candidate in the interview who can balance between the boss and the subordinates efficiently.

Open-ended questions are a good way to evaluate assertive communication skills. Try with a broad ice-breaker question such as: Tell me about yourself or tell me why you feel you are a good candidate for this job?

As your candidate responds, look for eye contact and an open body posture that includes unfolded arms and legs and a forward leading position. The applicant’s body language and eye contacts along with verbal cues will tell you if he/she is assertive or not.

2.  Attitude:

Positive attitude wins half the war in the workplace.

When a candidate is enthusiastic about the job, it carries over into the workplace and into job performance. A candidate’s attitude speaks volume.  It tells you if you have found a right candidate in an interview.

The positive attitude is an amalgamation of various subfactors like a candidate’s flexibility, dependability, and integrity. 

A flexible candidate can adapt to different circumstances and different people and handle unforeseen events with a sense of calm and grace. This is not possible without a positive attitude.

By asking the candidate to discuss a situation in which she had to go beyond the normal call of duty to get a job done, you can test the candidate’s positivity, flexibility, dependability, and integrity.

3. Creativity:

Business sustainability depends on strategic creativity.

I am not speaking something farfetched. Google, Apple, and IBM – all enjoy strategic advantage ahead of other companies because their employees can innovate and think out of the box.  If you can find an applicant who can think out of the box be assured that you have found a right candidate in an interview.

Creativity or the ability to think out of the box is indeed a highly-valued soft skill in today’s job market. Managers are looking for versatile team members who can apply their skills to a variety of different situations and can solve unexpected problems that come up with ease and confidence.

4. Team player:

How a candidate will fit in with the rest of your team is a huge consideration when making a hiring decision.

Job-match means finding out the right candidate for the right position. In other words, if a candidate is unable to gel up to the company’s culture it is simply a bad hire.  You can impart training to a large extent if only the candidate is willing to stick to your company and learn from superiors.

You need to ascertain this soft skill of a candidate either at group discussion round or at in-basket in-tray exercises or group task games.

5. Good emotional intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is not EQ or emotional quotient.  If you want to learn more about emotional intelligence click here.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s). – Coleman, Andrew (2008). A Dictionary of Psychology (3 ed.). Oxford University Press.

Good emotional intelligence along with assertiveness creates leadership qualities in a candidate.

If in the interview you find any candidate, who is both assertive and emotionally intelligent, be sure you have found a right candidate in an interview who can be a future leader.

Emotional intelligence helps a person remain calm under stress and show proper empathy to teammates when they are down. These applicants understand the emotional ups and downs of people and know how to handle them. For this quality, they can stay motivated at work even under extreme stress.

Highly emotionally intelligent individuals are perceived more positively by others – Other individuals perceive those with high EI to be more pleasant, socially skilled and empathic to be around. This soft skill is judged by asking proper behavioural questions.

These are the top 5 qualities which helps you to choose the right candidates in an interview and predict a right match for the job.

What are the other qualities which can help you to find a right candidate in an interview? Are you in sync with what we have discussed so far? Give your comments in the box below and share your views with us.