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Candidate Enthusiasm

“Show me you want me” ~ The Regrettes

I was recently asked what one trait or behaviour I look for in all my candidates regardless of the role. I had to think long and hard about that.

Is it likability? Yes, that’s important, but I have recruited and hired many candidates that were not the most social but were the most experienced and skilled for the role.

Good communication skills? Again, it’s important but for many of my candidates through the years, English was a second language.

Intelligence? I’ve recruited candidates that didn’t finish school or got poor grades.

What is it?


Show me you are excited about the opportunity and want to work for the company.

I have ended calls and interviews when I detected a lack of interest or desire. The recruitment and interview process can be long, I need to know that you are 100% committed.

When a candidate enters the interview room, you can easily tell whether he or she is keen to attend the interview or not. First, analyze the individual’s level of enthusiasm, and check whether they are happy about the opportunity. This can be achieved by simply looking at his or her demeanor and their way of answering the questions in the interview.

If the candidate attends the interview with zeal and a cheerful personality, then that candidate might be interested in the job opportunity. Simply ask job-related questions and observe how they react to the questions. Frame the questions in such a way that it connects their passion, enthusiasm, and the position that they are ready to accept. For example, you can ask them “Tell me about your ideal position, explain your dream job, and what is important to you in your new role?”

How do we measure enthusiasm?

  • They’re responsive: Positive responses to email or InMail indicate that a candidate would like to hear more from you.
  • They’ve done their research: If someone wants to impress a recruiter or hiring manager, they’ll take time to check out your website, social media, and reviews online.
  • They ask a lot of questions: If they’re asking meaningful questions, it’s an indicator of genuine interest. It means they want to understand the company and the role better.
  • They’re interested in making a long-term impact: Interview questions like, “where do you see yourself in three years” are cliche but can be telling if they have no intention of sticking around. For those new to the workforce, check to see what other areas they’ve shown a level of commitment to — it could be related to their educational background or to a certain skill or hobby.

To evaluate whether the candidate has a passion for the job, you can ask about the professional growth goals he /she has. A good question to ask a candidate is, “if you were hired, how will you manage your role differently here?” If the candidate responds with an answer that does not provide clues to something that is bigger than what he or she has to offer now, then it is a sign that the candidate is not growth-oriented. Individuals who are passionate about something will always search for things and ways to become better, happier, and smarter.

If you need help revising your recruitment strategies or don’t have the resources to fill your vacancies, Recruit4U ( can help.

Darryl Dioso is a Managing Partner at HR4U and leads their Recruit4U recruitment division.