4 signs that the candidate you’re interviewing is worth the gamble

Interviews are always tricky to negotiate, regardless of which side of the table you’re on. The difficulties of interviewing as a prospective candidate are well-documented, but the process is by no means simple for the interviewer either. As a hiring manager, you’re under a huge amount of pressure to make the right decision, with the negative effects of a bad hire potentially hugely detrimental to the team and the business. That pressure can make the whole process seem overwhelming, as you try to cover every base and leave no stone unturned in your assessment of the candidates.

The simple truth, however, is that you’re never going to know for sure whether someone will be able to do the job until they’re actually in the office doing it day by day. For this reason, every hire, to some extent, is a risk on the part of the hiring company. Nonetheless, there are certain tell-tale signs in an interview that will give you a good idea as to the kind of candidate you’re dealing with – here’s four signs that your candidate might just be worth the gamble.

They’ve gone beyond in their preparation

Every candidate at interview, as a bare minimum, should have a good understanding of the job description and the company that they’re interviewing with. However, there are certain candidates who will go beyond the basics in their preparation, showing a work ethic and enthusiasm that could be a real asset to your business. Thorough research into competitors, an understanding of the company’s market position, and the ability to draw on relevant bits of industry news are all excellent signs that your candidate is willing to go the extra mile.

They’re already thinking about the job

If a candidate is truly enthused by an opportunity, they’ll be treating the interview prep as a chance to start thinking about how they’d do the job if they were successful. The best candidates will arrive at interview stage already full of ideas for how they would achieve the objectives set by the hiring manager for the position. Maybe they’ve drawn up a plan for their first three months, or maybe they’ve thought in detail about the best techniques to maximise revenue – this attitude is another sign of a candidate who’s worth taking a gamble on.

They acknowledge their weaknesses

Humility and willingness to learn are very desirable characteristics in a potential employee, and nothing shows these attributes like the ability to look at your skill-set objectively and acknowledge your own weaknesses. Gaps in knowledge or experience are not necessarily the worst thing, as long as the candidate shows a real willingness to proactively address these issues; it’s often better to hire someone slightly under-qualified who is willing to be taught than someone with all the required experience who already feels they know everything there is to know.

They’ve followed up after the interview

Before you invest time, money and resources into hiring someone, you want to be sure that they’re genuinely enthusiastic and committed to the position, so a quick follow up email from a candidate to thank you for your time and reiterate their interest can go a long way. This proactive and professional approach shows a number of very desirable attributes that will translate very well into a working environment.

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