As a job candidate, your goal is to make yourself as appealing as possible to the people you meet. This starts with your resume and continues with the job interview and all interactions you have with hiring managers, recruiters, HR, and employees of the organization.

traits of a poor candidate

Every interaction is your chance to sell yourself and prove you are a top candidate. Even though what an employer is looking for can vary by organization and role, there are certain traits employers will agree are characteristic of a poor candidate. You obviously don’t want to display these traits during the interview process. Here are 4 of the top traits of a poor candidate and how to make yourself more appealing:


1. You Don’t Take Responsibility

Top candidates take responsibility for their actions. They don’t blame others, speak ill of their previous employer, or make excuses. All these actions are red flags and cause for concern. People are going to make mistakes and so will you. Employers are not so concerned about the fact you have a blunder on your track record, they want to see how you overcame it.

You can make yourself more appealing by being upfront and honest. Explain how to make things right rather than trying to point fingers elsewhere.

2. Lack of Preparation

There is a difference between wanting a job and wanting this job. It is essential that you not only do your homework and learn as much as possible about the company you are interviewing with, but you also need to have reasons why you want the job and want to work for the organization.

You can make yourself more appealing by having a clear understanding of the company, role, and how your skills fit. Communicate how you can fill the void and help the company be successful.

3. You Lack Depth

Employers are looking to make an investment in you. So, they want to get to know as much as possible about you and your capabilities. Poor candidates fail to go into enough detail. They provide vague answers and don’t provide enough context.

You can make yourself appealing by preparing well-thought-out answers. Be ready to provide examples and use statistics and metrics to quantify your overall impact.

4. You Blend In

Recruiters are looking for people who stand out. They want people with unique skills, backgrounds, and qualifications. They don’t want someone who is too agreeable, indifferent, or too similar to other candidates.

You can make yourself more appealing by having your own voice, being enthusiastic about the opportunity, and not being afraid to show what makes you different.

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Kelly Noelle Operations Recruiter

Kelly Noelle

Kelly runs the Operations practice at IQ PARTNERS, leveraging more than seven years of experience recruiting for mid to senior level Operations roles across a range of industries. She has worked with some of the most recognized brands in Canada; having managed multi-million dollar operations and accounts for national and international organizations.

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