What a Candidate's Interview Prowess Can Reveal

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on May 21, 2014

Every candidate interviews differently.  Some candidates arrive to the interview bursting with confidence, while others seem nervous, distracted or uninterested.  With so much at stake for the company, the information gathered in the interview is crucial.

While interviewing well doesn’t guarantee that they will excel and succeed in the position, it can give you strong clues about the candidate.  Why?  Here’s what a candidate’s interview prowess can reveal about their performance:

1.       Preparedness = Perseverance + Enthusiasm

A candidate who demonstrates knowledge of the company, the job description, and the industry demonstrates two key qualities: enthusiasm and perseverance.

It takes enthusiasm for the position and interest in the work to remember key details about the specific position and about the company.  But it also takes perseverance to do to the “homework” required to provide accurate insights into the company and the work.  Many job candidates will do a quick overview of the company’s website; a few won’t research the company at all.  Those who stick to the work until they have a confident view of how they’ll fit into the organization have the mix of stick-to-it-iveness and interest to make outstanding employees.

2.       Calm = Confidence + Self-Control

Interviews naturally produce anxiety.  Very few candidates, if any, walk into an interview without a bit of nervousness.  However, candidates who can control their nerves to display an outward sense of calm are probably executing two traits: self-control and confidence.

A bit of nervousness is normal in situations where one is asked to perform under scrutiny, such as during an interview.  As every hiring manager who has ever given a public presentation knows, channeling this nervous energy can actually improve performance.  Focusing this energy requires self-control and self-awareness, and the candidates who succeed best at it do so because they have confidence in their own ability to focus and overcome.  While enthusiasm is an important trait, neither it nor “nerves” should override a candidate’s ability to give clear, focused answers.

3.       Curiosity = Enthusiasm + Knowledge

The best candidates treat interviews as a conversation, not an interrogation.  They expect to be asked questions about their own work, but they also ask plenty of questions about the company, the requirements of the job, the culture, and the expectations for their potential role.

This curiosity demonstrates two key traits.  First, the candidate is clearly interested in the work and the company.  This enthusiasm is likely to help the candidate through the “learning curve” at the start of any job and to improve the chances of a long-term employment relationship.  Second, informed questions demonstrate the candidate’s knowledge of the work, the company, and the industry.

At TERRA Staffing, our experienced staffing partners can help your hiring managers improve their interviewing skills in order to choose the best candidate for the job. Contact us today to learn more, or browse our Talent Showcase to get a sneak peek at some of our available candidates!

Categories: HR and Management Advice, Staffing Tips & Recruiting Trends

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