Picking the Right Candidate for the Job


The detrimental costs associated with making the wrong hiring choice for a new employee are exponential. Besides the initial cost of onboarding someone (typically thousands of dollars in infrastructure and administration costs, on top of salary), if they are underqualified or unproductive in their work, you risk sinking additional costs as high as 30% of their first year’s salary.

A quality hire will help bring value to the company and serve as useful assets in all corporate endeavours. It is in the best interest of any hiring manager to know the best ways to ensure job offers are extended to only the most valuable applicants.

Here, we explore 9 easy steps that can serve this purpose during any interview and hiring process.

1. Set Future Expectations

Before the interview, prepare a list of deliverables that the candidate would be expected to deliver at important intervals such as the first, second, and third month of employment. This will help you prepare your questions in such a way that they are shaped around actual goals. Asking candidates how they would prioritize and achieve these goals directly is a wonderful way to gauge their processing and judgment skills, as well as their planning and time management.

You can also get a grasp on how familiar they are with the real work that your company requires.

2. Pace Yourself

When you have important positions to fill, time is of the essence. That pressure can force you to make hasty decisions that can undermine good decision making. Consider whether you have legitimately found the right candidate for the position, or if you are simply feeling the crunch. Remember, hiring the wrong candidate will just consume more time later when you need to repeat the hiring process from scratch, as well as wasting valuable productivity time for your business.

3. Listen Closely to the Candidate

Most interviews, you will find yourself leading the conversation with a variety of questions used to screen applicants. These laundry lists of questions tend to be one-size-fits-all, and do not have a lot of wiggle room for the interviewee to bring up additional concerns. At some point, though, you should be turning the conversation over to them to ask for any inquiries they may have.

When that happens, pay careful attention to what they ask about. You can often glean a better understanding of their motivations and values from their concerns than from their answers to your questions themselves.

4. Ask Questions Related to Your Company Culture

By the time a candidate is sitting down to an interview with you, most of the essential questions about their qualifications should be answered.

You have already reviewed their credentials and experience, and now you should be taking time to indulge in questions related to the atmosphere of your workplace. You should try to pin down whether they share company values and if their attitude is in line with your company culture.

Ask open-ended, subjective questions that provide them an opportunity to share their personal alignment, to see if it matches your own.

5. Keep the Tone of the Interview Light

If your approach with candidates is cold, dry, and clinical, they will be more likely to remain self-contained and avoid opening up about themselves.

In such a formal, professional setting, it is difficult to get a grasp on their personal values and personality, which should be your objective.

You are aiming to see if they would be a good fit at your specific business, not just whether they interview well. If you keep things casual and comfortable, the interviewee will feel more at ease with sharing what makes them unique. Then you can better evaluate if they would suit your team.

6. Look Backwards to Move Forwards

Unless a new position is being created, your hiring process will be designed to replace an existing employee.

You should take time to investigate statistics about the position, such as turnover rate, tenure of employees who’ve held the position, and promotion paths taken by previous employees both into and out of the position. This research will provide gainful insight into the nature of the position and what you should be looking for in a candidate to avoid more unnecessary turnover.

7. Look For Passionate Employees

You will likely run across numerous candidates with the credentials and technical skills to perform the tasks required of them. But completing work, alone, is not what makes a company strong.

You need to build a team that is excited to build the company, and will show up to work every day ready to move forward as a unit. Shared values and a passion for the company mission will make this achievable.

8. Ask Clarifying Questions

Dig down to the root of every anecdote an interviewee mentions. You should leave no stone unturned when it comes to confirming the accuracy of their disclosures. Continue to ask clarifying questions to candidates’ replies to your own. Don’t be afraid to pry until you see a clear picture of their actual role in whatever past experience they choose to divulge.

9. Save Time By Holding Phone Interviews

Ultimately, you will want to meet the best candidates in person. However, once you’ve narrowed down those that pass muster on paper, you can use phone, or online interviews to screen out obvious exemptions, therefore saving you time and resources.

Not to mention, unsuccessful candidates may appreciate that their time isn’t wasted either.


Remember, everyone wants to put their best foot forward when it comes to applying for and interviewing for jobs. They may come across as generally professional, but at a certain level they just won’t be the right match.

Your job, as a hiring manager, will be to flush out those who don’t align with your company’s needs on a different level. And now, equipped with the skills we’ve taught you above, that job has become much easier.

Belleville Office

Unit 8, 161 Bridge Street W. 
Belleville, ON K8P 1K2

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357

Marmora Office

By Appointment Only
Itinerant Services 

Phone: 613-966-9069
Toll Free: 1-888-401-9636
Fax: 613-966-7357