Judging a New Candidate

I once asked a Chef what he looked for when making a new hire. His reply had very little to do with culinary skills. He said he’d be spending a lot of his time with this new teammate and he ultimately wanted someone who he’d enjoy working with. He went on to say that personality, character, and ability to get along with others were his main hiring criteria. These personality traits were how he judged whether a candidate was a good or bad fit.

Business owners, HR Professionals, and Recruiters all have a set of preconceived notions whenever they review a resume or conduct an interview. They try not to be, but it’s human nature to be judgmental. The person perusing your resume or asking interview questions may have been at their job for 20 years or 20 days. This unique perspective may or may not work to your advantage as a job-seeking candidate.

We all are judged in whatever we do and in every aspect of our lives.  Whether you thrive in the job seeking process is an inexact science. With that being said, what is going through the mind of the business owner, HR Professional, or recruiter is all based on what they have been exposed to, good and bad, leading up to judging a candidate for a new job opportunity.

There are certain basic protocols or tips all candidates can focus on to help avoid being judged negatively.  A clean resume, free of typos, email or phone correspondence that is professional, and a social media presence that is neutral, can all help in leaping over the first hiring process hurdle.

If a candidate does succeed in getting an interview, there are ways to present yourself in the best possible light. This includes asking in advance for the best way to dress for the interview. Also, reviewing the company’s website is essential in terms of preparation. To not do so can only be construed as laziness.  Not talking excessively during an interview while still showing good communication skills are essential must haves in nearly all hiring success stories.

Value added extras include walking a fine line regarding not pestering the employer too much after an interview. A personal thank you note can sometimes be a difference maker. Providing references that will offer an accurate portrayal of your business acumen is also helpful.

A candidate’s resume, interview skills, and ability to get along all are stepping stones for helping a hiring manager make the right judgment. The truth is, we can’t help but judge the people we come in contact with. How you present yourself in your professional life today, will speak volumes on how you’re judged tomorrow. Like a good chef, provide your new boss with what he or she is hungry for, and you’ll both be satisfied.

Tim Cotroneo is an Account Manager at MDS Staffing

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