How to spot a great candidate during the recruitment process

How do you spot your perfect candidate during the recruitment process? 

We take a closer look at just some ways you can find that stand out candidate.

How to spot a great candidate during the recruitment process Feature

It can be tough finding top quality candidates in the current climate with fewer applicants per vacancy and a skill shortage on the horizon. Finding the perfect candidate can seem like finding a needle in a haystack, so how do you spot that one candidate that stands out during the recruitment process?

Picture the scene your software has helped you narrow down your applicants to the very best and now you have to find the candidate who will be the perfect fit – how do you identify them? Why not take a closer look at your candidates beyond the words on the paper - you might be surprised at who you uncover!

Let’s look at some ways you can identify your next star employee during the recruitment process.



Have your candidates done their homework? Perhaps they have tailored their application to the job description but, what about when it comes to the interview? You are inevitably going to ask them what they know about the company? Top-quality candidates will take the time to find out everything they can about the company, from its history to the culture and any future plans - they will leave no stone unturned! 

Top candidates will also ask well-thought-out questions about the company, job and culture - these questions could reveal an insight into the candidates’ intentions - do they intend to fit in and stay with the company or, are they just wanting a stopgap while they keep looking for something else. The questions they chose to ask could reveal more than intended!



The saying may be "A picture can speak a thousand words" but body language and the choice of language a person uses can also reveal more than expected. Look out for specific language that your candidates may use; does it portray a poor attitude towards past employers or, are they slumped in a chair during the interview giving the impression that they are uninterested. 

Alternatively, your candidate may be full of positive language and show that they are willing to get stuck in any situation. One of the best ways they can demonstrate this is by using the STAR technique.

  • Situation: Describe the situation and when it took place
  • Task: Explain the task and what was the goal
  • Action: Provide details about the action you took to attain this
  • Result: Conclude with the result of your action



A thirst for knowledge can reveal the great potential in candidates - it shows that an individual who enjoys expanding their mind, is not afraid of adding new skills to their talents and has a love of learning.

With an arsenal of knowledge and skills these candidates could become your most invaluable employees - they can multitask, problem solve and nurture others.



When presenting a hypothetical scenario to a candidate, how do they move towards a resolution? What steps do they take, what logic is applied, and do they see the bigger picture? 

Seeing how candidates approach the situation in front of them and work towards resolving it could reveal a lot about the approach they’ll take to their duties if they became your new employee. 

When it comes to resolving a group problem, are they sitting back and letting others tackle it first or are they diving in headfirst, listening to others’ opinions and working as a team. It is rare that you are looking for the correct answer but rather how they solve it, the logic they use and whether they took an active role – who knows you may even great some creative answers to the problem!



In the current market, there is a skill mismatch, this occurs when workers have a level of skills that is different from what is required for their job advertised. How do you see if these candidates are a good fit despite having a different skillset – their transferable skills!

Candidates with transferable skills could be invaluable to your business – by bringing in a fresh perspective, they could identify gaps within your business that could either generate extra revenue or streamline processes within the business. They could also motivate your existing workers and teach them new skills that could increase productivity. Not bad for a candidate with a different background!



Reach can help you attract, recruit and onboard candidates to your business with our in-depth knowledge of advertising to our cutting-edge recruitment technology – we’ve got your recruitment covered! 

Talk to one of the team today about how Reach can make your recruitment more efficient, call 01527 574408.


Schoeller Allibert

Reach has reduced various administration activities from 1 hour, 2 hour, 3 hour jobs... to five minute jobs.

Clare Shallcross, Training & Development Manager