5 Most Common Types of Candidates

By on 01 March 2019

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the recruitment industry is you get the chance to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds with different personalities. One of the biggest takeaways is that you learn how to deal with a wide variety of job hunters, from the shy and introverted to the sociable and extroverted.

Here are the top five most common types of candidates that you’ve already met, or will probably meet in the future:

The Prepared Candidate

This candidate has dressed appropriately for the interview, has done thorough research about the company and prepared questions about company culture and other work-related responsibilities. Their CV looks neat and organized and they are able to convey their experiences and accomplishments in a very professional manner. In the end, you’ll find yourself nodding along to their answers, thanking the recruitment gods for sending this candidate your way.

The prepared candidates are rare and hard to find so it’s important that you don’t let them slip through your fingers. Even if you don’t have a current vacancy that suits their experience and requirements, make sure you establish a good relationship with them for future opportunities. Ensure you are prompt and efficient in your dealings with them because if you miss a beat, they are guaranteed to notice.

The Underprepared Candidate

… and now for the total opposite. Some candidates can be a bit scattered in their approach to job seeking. They may arrive late to an interview, inappropriately dressed, with little knowledge about the company they are applying for or how to sell their skills and accomplishments to a prospective employer. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why would anyone consider this candidate? There are many things to think about here, is the candidate qualified but underconfident? Has the candidate worked for one company for many years, and is out of touch with the job seeking process?

It is important to ascertain whether the candidate is genuine before you cast judgement because if they are a loyal, hard-working employee that just needs some assistance with job-searching etiquette, they are definitely worth coaching through the interviewing process.

The Overconfident Candidate

Confidence in an interview is needed but over-confidence can be a bit of a turn-off. Tread carefully around these candidates, because even if they have the perfect experience for your role, they have the potential to really disrupt an internal company culture. It pays to really know your clients, and what kind of personality will fit well into their office.

The Affirmative Candidate

You may have met the “yes” man or woman already. These candidates generally respond “Absolutely, I’ve done that before, Yes, I couldn’t agree more, Yes, of course, or Yeah, I know”, to every question you throw at them, not giving you much more to work with. Get them thinking more creatively by asking open-ended questions and seeing how they respond. It will be difficult for your client to feel connected to a candidate that isn’t able to give substantial answers.

The Timid Candidate

Shy candidates may present as less confident, but it is important not to discredit them because of this. They may have a harder time making small talk or talking about themselves, so focus on their experience and achievements instead. They may be more confident talking about something they have a lot of knowledge in, such as their practical experience, and once they have “warmed up”, it will be easier for them to discuss more personal information.