How do I choose the right candidate for the job?

It can be a minefield trying to distinguish which candidates are possible contenders for the available role. In order to choose which candidates will suit the job, you need to know what to focus on and look for, here’s a few tips of advice that may assist you:

  • Understand what drives and motivates the candidate – you may want someone who has a genuine interest in the industry and role and wants to pursue a long-term career within your industry. Someone who is purely money driven may get bored quickly and look to move on, hungry for a higher salary. Try and get an understanding of their future plans and where they see themselves in a few years. This will provide a much clearer view of whether they are right for you.
  • Try not to focus on their past too much – it is usually clear whether someone is suitable by looking at their CV, and major issues will understandably rule them out. However, if someone has had 30 year’s experience successfully doing the role you are offering, don’t cast them aside because their GCSE results weren’t so good. Look at the bigger picture!
  • Realise that interviews are tough – how a candidate behaves in an interview doesn’t necessarily translate how they behave in everyday life. Nerves can put people on edge, they may be totally different when given the chance to relax. Maybe consider a trial day to bring out their personality if you are unsure. This provides a great overall assessment of suitability with the role and the team dynamic.
  • Find out what they are not so good at – ask the question, making sure they know it will not be detrimental to their application, so that you can realise their weaknesses and ensure you can provide support to build on those weaknesses. The employee would gain skills and you would be helping to grow and train the team whilst demonstrating that you are a supportive and open-minded employer.
  • Keep your expectations in mind – ensure both parties know your expectations, check that all of these can be met by the candidate and that they are happy to learn along the way.
  • Know the role – there is no way you can be 100% sure on a candidate if you don’t know about the role yourself. It may be that you are interviewing to fill a role in a different department that you rarely deal with / come across. In this case, have a thorough job description prepared and ensure you know exactly what is needed for a person to be successful in the role. It may even be prudent to involve a colleague to sit in on the interview in this instance.
  • In-depth interview stages – conduct more than 1 interview if you feel it’s necessary, including a telephone interview to see how they communicate when it’s not face to face. Allow them to meet the team as it’s important to see how they interact with the current organisation. Also, it may be a good idea to set some project work or tasks such as staged scenarios to see how they deal with the work they would be doing on a daily basis. If you do hold multiple interviews though, remember not to draw out the interview process for too long as this may be detrimental to hiring the right person.
  • Psychometric testing or similar tests can also be a good indicator of whether the candidate is the right personality for the team or organisation as these are scientifically proven to be accurate so when you really are stuck on your choice, then explore this method.



Choosing someone for a role is a hard task, there are so many things to consider. However, if you have a clear plan, a list of your expectations and conduct thorough interviews and checks, you will be on the right road to finding your next team member.


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