Character traits to look for in a candidate

When hiring, sometimes people tend to focus too intently on skills without considering other factors that make a good candidate.  Obviously skills are important, but a candidate with the right virtues and a slightly less than perfect skills match can quickly get up to speed in your company and pay off exponentially.

What should you look for besides the right skills?  These character traits:

1. Responsibility.  To find out if a candidate is responsible, ask him to tell you about a time he made a mistake and how he resolved it.  Through his answer you’ll discover whether or not he owns his actions and takes it upon himself to follow through.

2. Humility.  Big egos can be a detriment to teamwork.  You can ask targeted questions to gauge a candidate’s willingness to admit personal faults without putting himself down as well as his requirements regarding recognition and credit…or you can simply observe his demeanor during the interview to get an idea.

3. Intrinsic motivation.  Incentives can only go so far to encourage an employee without intrinsic motivation.  Ask questions about a candidate’s future short- and long-term goals. What steps is he taking to work towards those goals?

4. Grit.  Is the candidate easily dissuaded by obstacles, or does he find ways around them and persevere?  This trait is crucial to getting things done without requiring a supervisor to micromanage his every step.

5. Curiosity.  Is this candidate open to learning new things on the job?  Is he interested in why he is doing things and how to do them?  A curious candidate will delve a little deeper to solve problems and grow with your company.

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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