10 Distinguishing Attributes of Outstanding Candidates

As a job recruiter, especially if you are new in the field, the most challenging skill you must have is recognizing and identifying the potential and raw talents of a candidate. 


There are some specific characteristics peculiar to outstanding candidates. Most of the time, these characteristics can be recognized while asking the candidate to describe his/her major accomplishments during the interview. 


Without further ado, let’s go straight into them.


  1. They are Achievers. They always make things happen. They are not only driven by results or motivation; they almost always achieve the results they desire. To know if a candidate is an achiever, ask them about the biggest project they have handled, their expectations, and the results they got. Ask about how they were able to achieve their objectives. 


  1. They work with great people through their network. Ask how they hired the people in their team if the person is a manager. Ask them to rank the quality of the people in their team and how they have performed since they joined the team. A quality candidate seeks out quality team members to work with and gives them opportunities to be better. 


  1. They take on projects that seem impossible for them to handle. Ask about their biggest accomplishments, and why they were assigned the role. Look out for people who take on a lot more than it seems they are capable of and who handled it well enough for it to become a success.


  1. Watch out for a positive trend in performance. While recruiting, always watch out for candidates whose performance have a positive growth trend over the years. Watch out for the size, scope, and complexity of their accomplishments over the previous years. They should have an exceptional passion for what they do too.


  1. Look out for award recognition they have gotten for their previous jobs. Awards, bonuses, and promotions are all formal recognitions and proof of superior work well done. Looking out for this can lead to picking outstanding candidates for the job role. 


  1. They know how to solve jobs related problems. Create a realistic scenario they are likely to face on the job and look out for what they put together. The best candidates will put a logical plan together and figure out the answers to things they do not know.


  1. The best people usually find jobs through their network. Ask about how they got their previous jobs; referrals from their former colleagues and bosses are usually a good sign. Also, find out why they were considered a good fit for the job by the people who referred them.


  1. Instead of making excuses, they act. They overcome obstacles by taking responsibility. Look out for those who have a pattern of making things happen instead of making excuses, especially in situations that seem tight or impossible. 


  1. Ability to think inside and outside the box simultaneously. It is the ability to zoom out and see multifunctional and strategic consequences while also being able to zoom in and find the best solution. The depth of a candidate’s ability to do this is a major indicator of their ability to perform well in any position they might find themselves in and to also realize their potential that will come in handy in the long run.


  1. They are great team participants. Their ability to perform well in a team is very crucial. They should be able to collaborate well on major projects and have a good history of that as proof. Ask about the biggest and most important team they have been assigned to, their role, and why they were assigned that role. In their response, look out for how they influenced team results and how they were able to understand the perspective of other team members in their different roles. 


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