Skip to content

Telltale Signs that a Candidate Really Wants the Position

Telltale Signs that a Candidate Really Wants the Position

Does your new candidate want the position, or do they¬†really want the position? Here are a few ways you can tell the difference between someone who’s passionate about advancing their career with your company and someone who’s just looking for a paycheck.

They’ve Done Their Research

When a candidate shows up to an interview and takes the time to discuss the more interesting points of your company’s history, its corporate culture, the recent accolades the company or its employees have won, or any other major new developments in the company or the business sector it deals with, it’s obvious that the candidate is passionate enough about the position to do his or her homework.

This demonstrates not just an attention to detail but also the ability to learn, follow through, and adapt a plan during an application process. These are all excellent skills for a candidate to have, no matter the position for which they’re interviewing.

They Don’t Rely On Spell-Check

First impressions are everything, and in many cases that starts with the cover letter and resume. It’s not hard to proofread a document by hand instead of just trusting that spell-check is going to catch any errors, but it does take time. A candidate willing to take this time – even for such a simple yet important task – shows an interviewer that he or she is dedicated to getting things right the first time; that’s the kind of attribute you want in a candidate.

Too many candidates rely on the built-in spell-check in their word processor of choice, but its limitations mean it can’t – and won’t – catch lots of different types of errors. If these errors surface in a cover letter, a CV, an application, or any other type of correspondence, it’s an ironclad guarantee that the candidate’s chances of landing the position are close to zero. On the other hand, any candidate that knows enough about the English language to not confuse “your” with “you’re” or “lose” with “loose” is, by default, placed head-and-shoulders above the rest.

An error-free first impression signals a high attention to detail in their work ethic and signals how seriously they are taking the opportunity with your company.

They Show Up On Time – Or Early

Showing up on time is, again, one of those things that should be a no-brainer. A candidate who shows up early to an interview is one that takes the opportunity seriously. It’s also a candidate who planned ahead enough to know how to get to the interview location beforehand. Despite this, many candidates don’t show up on time for their own interview.

Beyond the demonstration of foresight, a candidate that shows up early to an interview shows that the candidate values the time an interviewer is setting aside for the opportunity to get his or her foot in the door. It showcases the ability of the candidate to think beyond their own needs and desires and how their actions affect those around them.

They Come Prepared With Ideas on How They Can Add Value to Your Business

Everyone is in sales these days and landing a job is no different. If your candidate comes to the interview prepared to speak specifically to how they will contribute to your company, you know this is someone who wants the position. It not only demonstrates enthusiasm for the position, but it shows that they have a firm grasp of your company’s needs and the role you’re looking to fill.

Knowing what someone did for another company is good for establishing experience and credibility. But when a candidate can help a hiring manager envision them in the role within your company, you know they are ready to accept your job offer.


It’s really not hard to tell whether any given candidate is truly passionate about the position they’re seeking. Anyone can put in just a minimal effort to accomplish things like being early to an interview, proofreading their resume, or spending half an hour looking up a company on Google; the difference is that not everyone does.

Finding a candidate that’s serious enough to take these simple but important steps is a surefire sign that they’re more than just mildly interested in the position. All these actions demonstrate the qualities of a good employee – being conscious of others around them, knowing the importance of professional presentation, and being willing to put in extra effort without being prompted – and it’s these telltale signs that help identify who’s going to be your company’s new blood – and keep you from hiring the next dud.

Print Friendly
Posted by Mellie Goolsby Mathis on July 20, 2017

Leave a comment


Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments