version 2, draft 2

How To Know What To Look For In A Job Candidate

Whilst qualifications and relevant work experience are high on every recruiter’s list, there are many other key qualities that are just as important, regardless of the position or the industry. Here are some of the most eagerly sought-after character traits on every interviewer’s wish-list.


Regardless of whether the position to be filled is in a junior or a management role, employers want people with the hunger and drive to progress; it’s the only way their company will grow and become successful.


Every recruiter wants people who have the initiative to organise themselves and their workload and who can carry out their day to day duties without the need for constant supervision.


The recruitment and training process is expensive and time-consuming.  Employers want staff who are committed to the company and who are prepared to work hard in order to progress.  Recruiters won’t waste time and money on those who they feel are only using the role as a stepping stone to something better elsewhere.


Intelligence in recruitment language means having common sense and practical ability. The productivity and contribution of an employee is dependent upon his ability to plan and organise his day, to solve problems and to get the job done. A hallmark of intelligence is curiosity; candidates who ask intelligent questions of a recruiter and listen to the answers are far more likely to impress than those who don’t.

Leadership ability

Leadership can be defined as the willingness to take on responsibility for results; to volunteer for projects, to take charge and to be accountable for achieving the desired results. A good leader does not make excuses for failure or for why he cannot take on a designated task.


A highly desirable quality for many different roles is integrity. This means being honest and true to yourself and in your relationships and interaction with your colleagues. You are prepared to admit to making mistakes and to learning from them; you demonstrate loyalty to your employer and you never engage in negative gossip. Your discretion and respect for confidentiality can be relied on absolutely.


Recruiters prefer candidates who are friendly, warm and cooperative with others. These kinds of people make natural team players and go a long way to cultivating harmony in the workplace. The more likeable someone’s personality, the better the morale is likely to be among their colleagues and peers which in turn promotes higher production, reduced staff absenteeism and better staff retention.


Competence is the ability to get the job done. A competent worker will set their own priorities; sift the relevant from the irrelevant tasks and then focus their efforts until the job is complete.


Employers like people who are brave enough to accept challenges and take on new tasks where a high degree of uncertainty and the possibility of failure come as standard. Courage also refers to the willingness to speak out; recruiters welcome direct and frank questions at interview about the company, the job and the future prospects of the role.

Inner strength

Inner strength is what gives you the determination to persevere in the face of failure and adversity. Interviewers look for candidates who remain calm and unruffled in the face of difficult questions. If you can remain calm and cool in an interview situation, there’s a good chance you won’t panic in the face of a crisis at work.

Good interviewers are looking for much more than qualifications and skills. When faced with a pile of CVs all with the same academic achievements and work experience, a clear demonstration of the aforementioned qualities can make the difference between an offer letter and the “also ran” file.

It is the candidates who can clearly demonstrate through quantifiable examples that they have many or all of these qualities who will be successful.

Image source: Career Girl Network

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'





Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

G up arrow
</script> </script>