8 Telltale Signs of a Good or Bad Job Candidate

We’ve interviewed hundreds of job candidates over the years and have witnessed some of the best and worst behavior that has instantly affected a person’s chances of getting the position.  Based on our experience talking to people for open positions — from entry to senior level — here are some telltale signs that someone will make a good or bad hire.

Positive signs include…

 1) Willingness to go the extra mile (literally): It’s a tough job market out there and, while interviews can be done these days by phone or even Skype, it’s always more effective to meet face-to-face. Candidates who live in a different city from where the job is and take the initiative to get on a bus/train/plane to come interview in person show a true desire to get the position. Recently, Jessica saw two potential hires who did just this — took the bus from their hometowns, each four hours away from New York City, to show up in the flesh for an interview.  Another one, who was a plane ride away, offered to fly in for an interview in case her distance would affect her chances of being hired but Jessica said a phoner would be fine.

2) More than just a working knowledge of the company: In Be Your Own Best Publicist, we talk about the importance of doing your research before heading into a meeting or job interview. It’s so easy now to pull up a company’s website, set up a Google alert to push relevant news into your inbox and/or follow the company or its officials on Twitter.  You can also look up your interviewer on LinkedIn or Twitter to find out his or her professional and personal background/interests. Just don’t bring up every detail you read in the interview (i.e. How’s your daughter feeling?  I understand she was sick.) or you’ll seem like a stalker. But coming prepared with information about the company, its recent announcements and what makes it unique and you’ll demonstrate an enthusiasm and genuine interest in working there in particular (versus just wanting a new job).

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