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The Perfect Candidate: Do They Exist?


Wrinkle-free shirt, eye contact strong, arrive promptly, do your research and not a hair out of line. It’s no wonder our knees quiver and palms sweat when diving head first into an interview. The pressure of being the “perfect candidate” has scared job seekers to the safety of their homes. Is there even such existence of the perfect candidate anyway? The truth is, job seekers go into job interviews with the belief that every recruiter is looking for the same qualities. The truth is, everyone has their own set of needs and expectations in the recruiting process – just like our food palates!

With 27% of American employers claiming to experience poor candidate hire, recruiters can tune into cues of what is most likely to make the best candidate in the end by paying attention to the following signs…



Comfortable use of eye contact in a candidate

A deathly stare isn’t welcoming to anybody, but completely avoiding eye contact is a little sketchy, too. Try to look for a candidate that makes you feel comfortable when speaking to you; this ensures the candidate will likely do the same to coworkers and clients as well.

Eric D. Wesselmann, psychology professor and contributing author of “To Be Looked at as Though Air: Civil Attention Matters,” says, “…simple eye contact is sufficient to convey inclusion. In contrast, witholding eye contact can signal exclusion… Even though one person looks in the general direction of another, no eye contact is made, and the latter feels invisible.”

While eye contact may seem like a small communication additive, its importance can help with the creation of quality or poor company culture. Hiring a candidate who withholds eye contact from others can easily send messages that might read:“I’m too good for this.”

  • “I’m too good for this.”
  • “I’m not interested in what you have to say.”
  • “You’re making me uncomfortable.”
  • “I don’t feel comfortable speaking with you.”

While the communicator may not mean any of these signs to come across, don’t take the risk if you feel any of these messages coming your way during the time of the interview.Poor hiring decisions cost hiring managers over $50,000 a year– every sign counts for something.

If your company so chooses to use video in the hiring process, detecting poor eye contact can be tricky via monitor for the recruiters. If this applies to your corporation, look for these signs:


Candidate’s Proper Attire

Is the candidate you are meeting with over the web comfy in their snuggie or rocking a black blazer and poppin’ button up? Though it may seem to be obvious to professionals that dress no matter where you are should be tended to, some candidates might not see it to be so obvious.

Wardrobe selection can speak just as loudly as words. Poor wardrobe choice shows disinterest and lack of effort. Often times, you dress the way you feel and work accordingly.Hiring a candidate who deems jeans and a tee “good enough” can implement that attitude into their work, too. 72% of recruiters agree dressing poorly for an interview is one of the biggest mistakes a candidate can make.

Strive for candidates who dress and act the part. Both are vital to the process.


Ask the right questions of a candidate

Recruiters want to ask challenging questions to seek the best potential candidates who can think on their feet– this can easily be interpreted by candidates as an attempt by the recruiter to stump them. While this is not the case, its still important to ask the right questions.

Creating a list of questions to ask while in an interview naturally shapes your “perfect candidate” since they are personalized to your company’s needs and cultural fit. Asking the same or similar questions in each interview also eliminates bias and controls the time spent in an interview, alleviating drawn out, awkward interviews.

There may not be such thing as the “perfect candidate”, but recruiters can definitely formulate what they don’t want from an employee by being aware of small signs early-on in the process. Whether you’re interviewing in-person or virtually, the best signs to follow are: eye contact, wardrobe and non-bias lists of questions. Avoid being the 27% of hiring managers who are left with instant regret immediately after hiring – recruit smart.



Julie Salerno
Julie Salerno provides guidance and leadership to the GreenJobInterview sales team and is responsible for the ongoing growth of the company’s revenues and profitability. In June of 2014, Salerno was named the head of strategic alliances. In this role, she works with GreenJobInterview’s extensive network of partners on co-marketing, technology integrations and strategic planning. Julie assists in managing the company’s resources, and improving business processes from sales to service.