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Spotting Fake Enthusiasm in Over Eager Candidates

Hiring the best candidate is the biggest challenge that recruiters face on a daily basis. Their primary objective is to connect companies with the most suitable employees, however find such candidates is often difficult. With the market saturated with capable candidates, recognizing the difference between a genuinely good candidate and one that just acts it has become increasingly complicated.

Companies want employees who are eager, motivated and enthusiastic; however not many individuals deliver these three important qualities. Since job seekers have tapped into this, it is even trickier to spot the fakers from the others.

Here are some tips on spotting candidates who just fake their enthusiasm to get the job:

Job Application

While CVs and cover letters are not considered to reveal a lot of information about a candidate’s personality, it is advised that you review it carefully in order to spot red flags. Individuals who state that their career goal is to find a job they love are most likely trying to please the potential employer. Many job seekers go as far as to state that the company they are applying for is their dream company – a statement that they go on to repeat on a number of their job application.

While this may be true for many, it is advised to note down their passion for your firm and ask about their avid interest to work in your company at the interview stage. If they look confused and stunned, it is a clear indication of how they approach their ‘passion’.

Telephone Interview

This is the stage of the recruitment procedure that is designed to learn more about the candidate’s personality as opposed to questioning their experience and qualification. Take this opportunity to ask the candidate about their passion with regards to the industry and the role.

Employers should base their decision about whether or not to pursue the candidate on how they respond to questions about their interest and their ambition. You want to hire someone who want to progress and grow into the role, rather than someone who is set in their ways and is void of innovation.


At the interview stage, the employer is at a position of power since they are already aware of the candidate’s experiences and qualification, as well as have a good knowledge of their personality and skills. Craft your questions around their experience; however make sure that one of the objectives of the interview is to analyze the interviewee’s non-verbal communication.

While smiling and eye contact are a sure sign of enthusiasm, many candidates tend to overdo it. Spot the fake smiles, the strained eye contact and the excited hand gestures – you want to hire a professional, not someone who is hyped up all the time.

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