By Bruce Powell, Founder & Executive Recruiter

While it doesn’t happen every day, sometimes things line up perfectly in recruiting. The perfect candidate for the role is identified and the hiring company is smitten. They think the candidate could be the future of the company. They love everything about the candidate to the point where the hiring process almost becomes a formality.

There is perhaps no greater feeling for a candidate when they are told they are the perfect candidate for a role and the job was basically theirs to lose. All they needed to do was go through the rest of the hiring process and go to a final meeting with senior management.


However, just because the job is yours to lose doesn’t mean it cannot be lost. It’s never in the bag until you sign the employment contract; and even then, things can go wrong. Too many candidates, believing they are the perfect candidate, let down their guard a bit, get a little cocky and even greedy.

In this particular case, the candidate went into the meeting with senior management and believing they were the perfect candidate and future of the company, decided to take the opportunity to ask for a higher title. They were up for a general manager role and decide to request a president title.

What happened? The candidate completely misread the situation. They had the wrong attitude and rubbed the leadership team the wrong way. The company decided to go with another person, and the candidate was devastated.

Lesson 1: It is never 100% yours

You are always being interviewed. A hiring company and recruiters are always assessing you at every step of the process. You can never assume the company will hire you 100% until you sign the contract.

job candidate

Lesson 2: Be humble

Even though you may be the top candidate, be humble about it. Don’t try to take advantage of the situation to get more. Have some humility.

Lesson 3: Understand the situation

You need to take a step back and assess the situation. Understand all the factors in play and how you are perceived by the hiring company so you don’t misread the situation. You may be the best candidate, but you also need to understand the deal breakers and what the company truly values when hiring.

In the next blog post, we’ll take a look at a similar situation from the client side and discuss why, even from a company perspective, it’s never 100% in the bag until the candidate signs on the dotted line.


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 Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, and HR & Operations. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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