11 signs a candidate’s going to ace the job

11 signs copy.jpg


11 signs a candidate’s going to ace the job

Candidates make an impression on you from the moment they send their CV through, and while it’s their job to impress you throughout it’s yours to pick up on all the signals they are or aren’t your perfect fit.

With clues being dropped left, right, and centre though, noticing and remembering them isn’t always the easiest. We’ll give you some tips for the former shortly, but, to address the latter, here’s a quick trick:

  • Start a spreadsheet or table to monitor core areas you’re interested in tracking - like how quickly and enthusiastically they respond to your emails, whether their references back up what they’ve told you, and how you rate their cover letter, for example.

  • For each applicant you’re interested in progressing make a quick note in each field - and one that’s legible and will mean something to you at a later date.

  • When it comes to hiring time, look back at your prompts to refresh yourself and make a holistic and informed decision.


11 indicators you’ve found a good fit


  1. They personalised their application

A CV and cover letter that’s clearly been written for your vacancy - and only your vacancy - is a great starting point. It shows they’ve actually read your job description and applied what you’re looking for to their skillset, and that’s a good sign they’re:

  • Genuinely interested in and enthusiastic for your job, and
  • Meticulous, committed and willing to put the work in.


  1. They’re a great communicator

Communication is key for any business, but for contact centres it’s critical. If you engineer it right you can get a feel for candidates’ face-to-face, phone and email demeanour throughout the recruitment process. Some tell-tale signs you’re onto a winner include:

  • Well-constructed emails that are free from typos,
  • A clear, confident and articulate phone voice, and
  • A natural and comfortable presence in person.


  1. They’re well-researched and inquisitive

Candidates who ask questions that stray from the norm have clearly done their research - which is a positive sign, so, if you can, try and scribble down a note of the type of questions people ask during interviews.

Being inquisitive is also a plus. It shows they’re a good listener, interested in knowing more, and, if they’re applying for an agent job, gives you an insight into their ability to get the job done.


  1. They’re well-endorsed

Although candidates shouldn’t be discredited for not having them, LinkedIn endorsements can be a big comforter - assuming they’re legit, as well as the references you receive post-interview.

When you’re speaking to referees make a point of listening out for any discrepancies between what they’re telling you and what the candidate told you. Needless to say, any fibs should ring alarm bells.


  1. They respond well under pressure

There are lots of questions that are pretty standard and easy to rehearse, so, throw in a few curveballs by asking something unexpected to see how interviewees respond on the spot. 

As with point three, this’ll give you a bit of an insight into how they’d handle day-to-day situations - because let’s be honest, there’s nothing predictable about working in a contact centre.


  1. They admit their mistakes

Mistakes are human and admitting you’ve made them says a lot about your character - after all, you don’t want someone on your team who’s going to point the finger whenever they slip up.

So, someone openly sharing they once messed up but that it taught them X, Y or Z doesn’t actually have to be a negative (providing on the context, of course).


  1. They get on with the team

It’s good practice to introduce candidates to a handful of people within the business after their interview to a) collect a few different opinions and b) see how they gel with their potential colleagues.

Team relationships, engagement and morale can be a make or break factor in any business, so someone who instantly hits it off with other members is a great foundation for future success.


  1. They’re enthusiastic

The benefits of this one are twofold. For starters, they’ll probably return a higher quality of work, but they’re also more likely to stick around - which can work wonders for your retention rates.

Outside of their CV, cover letter and interview, enthusiastic candidates usually:

  • Respond to your emails promptly,
  • Answer your calls with gusto,
  • Take the initiative to contact you too, and
  • Show genuine excitement if they’re offered the job.


  1. They walk the walk

Great employees have more than just a string of qualifications and companies to their name; they’ve got a bank of situations illustrating not only how they put their skills into practice, but how their actions helped their team and the broader business.

If you suspect someone’s got more to offer than they’re letting on, probe for examples throughout the interview to extract the sort of information you need.


  1. They’re ambitious

At the risk of stating the obvious, ambitious candidates are a real asset to your business. They’re willing to go the extra mile, they’re the first to offer help, they’re brimming with ideas, and they’re always keen to learn and develop.

So, if someone’s already talking about their aspirations and career milestones in their interview (providing they’re applying it to your company, of course), you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be keen to hit the ground running and make a positive mark from day one. 


  1. Their interview just flows

Some interviews feel like you’re trying to pull teeth out to get anywhere, others feel more like a conversation than an interrogation; the latter’s an omen for a good working relationship.

If you instantly click with the candidate and they turn it into a natural, two-way discussion, it not only demonstrates their confidence and capability to hold a solid conversation with customers, but it’s a good indicator you’ll both get on as colleagues - which is a huge plus.


If you need a spot of support attracting, deciding on or securing new talent for your contact centre, our experts specialise in doing just that. Get in touch on info@cactussearch.co.uk or 01905 330 790 to get the ball rolling today.