Want to get yourself at the top of the hiring manager’s list? Here are some common themes that all “good candidates” have that help them get the job.

Ah, there’s nothing better than a good candidate. But what do these “good” candidates all have in common? We’ll tell you!

They’re prepared. They are on time, they do their research on the company, they have questions to ask in every interview and they know what they want and are ready to discuss it. Being prepared not only shows their professionalism, but it shows that they’re interested and excited about the job. One way to illustrate passion is through preparedness, and that goes such a long way. 

They know why they want the job and why they’re a good fit. Sometimes the question of “why do you want this job?” can trip people up. They never really thought about the why. Companies want to target people who are passionate about what they do; this is one sign of good fit. They know exactly why they are interested in the position and are ready to talk about it. They stay away from shallow reasons, like just wanting more money; the company is looking for the best match based on skills and passion, and they seem to know this. Knowing how their skills translate, and being able to speak to it is something that helps the interviewer connect the dots very easily. 

They can speak to their resume. When asked about a position listed, or even a random bullet that piqued some interest, they are able to speak to it all, and clearly. They are able to give examples and go into detail, no matter what you pull out on their resume. They’re honest about their experience and are able to elaborate on it. 

Answers questions directly and uses examples. During an interview, long winded responses that don’t get to the point and talking in circles without actually answering questions is a quick way to show yourself to the door. Good candidates answer questions directly, and easily offer up examples to elaborate; there’s no pulling teeth with getting an example out of them. They prepared with examples before the interview, so they are able to show off their skills through relevant stories. 

Honest about interest in the role. Sometimes, a good candidate is a good fit because their skills line up really well with the position- but sometimes, a good candidate is honest about something not being the best fit. They are honest about how things don’t line up for them, and this can build strong connections and trust between them and other industry professionals. 

Writes thank you notes. This is a very simple gesture that shows interest in the role and professional courtesy. They keep this short and sweet, or address something in the interview that they didn’t get a chance to elaborate on. 

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