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How to Choose the Right Candidate for the Job in 2023 : 15 Effective Ways

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31 March, 2023

As the global job landscape becomes more competitive, organizations across industries are facing a major challenge: How to choose the right candidate for the job?

Finding and retaining the best employees is critical to a company's success. Let's look at what the data tells us:

  • 60% of recruiters want video interviews to become the standard
  • Gen Z job seekers will not apply for a position if the recruitment methods are outdated
  • Data further suggests that the best candidates are off the market within a mere 10 days

With these statistics in mind, it goes without saying hiring the right talent is easier said than done.

From a lack of qualified candidates to a shortage of skills in certain areas, hiring managers must navigate a myriad of obstacles to build a strong team.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the top 15 strategies on how to select the right candidate for a job.

How to Choose the Right Candidate for the Job: 15 Expert-Approved Strategies

1. Look for the Right Cultural Fit

Assessing the culture fit is an essential aspect of the hiring process. When interviewing candidates, ask questions that can help determine whether they share the company’s values and principles.

Recruiters can also share information about the company culture, including the work environment, work style, and expectations.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask questions about their work style and how they would fit within the company culture.
  • Check their social media profiles to see if they share similar values and interests with the company.
  • Ask them how they handled a situation that was similar to one they might face at the company.
  • Consider conducting group interviews to observe how the candidate interacts with the current employees.

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2. Give Them a Practical Task

Giving a candidate a practical task can be a valuable way to assess their skills, experience, and problem-solving abilities.

Tips to implement:

  • Choose a task that is relevant to the role they are applying for.
  • Make sure the task can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Clearly explain the task and what you are looking for.
  • Provide feedback on their performance to help them improve.

3. Evaluate if They Are a Team Player

Teamwork is crucial in most jobs, so it's important to assess if the candidate is a team player. This can be assessed through interview questions and references.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask about their experience working in a team environment.
  • Ask them to describe their role in a team project and how they contributed to the team's success.
  • Observe how they interact with the team members during the interview.
  • Ask them about any conflicts they have had with colleagues in the past and how they resolved them.

4. Check if They Have Read About the Company

Candidates who have done research on the company are more likely to be invested in the role and be a good fit.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask them what they know about the company.
  • Ask them why they want to work for the company.
  • Observe whether they ask questions that show an understanding of the company's mission, vision, and values.

5. Give Them Skills Assessments

Skills assessments can be a valuable way to assess a candidate's ability to perform job-related tasks.

Consider using a talent acquisition tool like iMocha, which offers the world's largest library of skills assessments with over 2500+ skills to help recruiters evaluate a candidate's skills on diverse topics and expertise.

iMocha also offers intelligent AI-powered, candidate-friendly features such as AI-LogicBox, Live Coding, and anti-cheating measures to help recruiters attract top talent at half the cost and time.

Additionally, the hiring experience becomes seamless.

Tips to implement:

  • Choose an assessment that is relevant to the role they are applying for
  • Set clear expectations for the assessment.
  • Provide feedback on their performance to help them improve.


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6. Assess Their Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential in most jobs, so assessing if the candidate can communicate effectively is important. This can be assessed through interview questions and a writing sample.

Tips to implement:

  • Observe their communication skills during the interview.
  • Ask them to describe a situation where they had to communicate effectively to achieve a goal.
  • Consider using a communication skills assessment tool to assess their abilities.

7. Pay Attention to Their Questions

The questions the candidate asks can provide insight into their level of interest in the job and their critical thinking skills.

Tips to implement:

  • Observe the types of questions they ask during the interview.
  • Consider whether their questions show a genuine interest in the role and the company.
  • Ask them to describe any questions they have about the company or role.

8. Check if the Candidate Has a Positive Attitude Toward Feedback

Candidates who are open to feedback are more likely to improve and be successful in the job.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask them how they typically respond to feedback.
  • Ask them to describe a situation where they received feedback and how they responded.
  • Consider whether they are open to constructive criticism during the interview.

9. Read Their Body Language

Body language can provide clues about the candidate's confidence and comfort level in the interview. Paying attention to body language can help assess if the candidate is a good fit.

Tips to implement:

  • Observe the candidate's posture - a confident candidate will typically stand tall with shoulders back.
  • Maintain direct eye contact, which is a sign of confidence and honesty.
  • Pay attention to their gestures, as candidates who use open gestures (such as spreading their arms or palms) tend to be more outgoing and confident.
  • Watch their facial expressions and see if they are smiling, nodding, and maintaining a relaxed facial expression, which are signs of positivity and engagement.

10. Review Their Past Accomplishments

A candidate's past accomplishments can provide insight into their work ethic, problem-solving abilities, and overall level of competence.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask specific questions: Instead of asking general questions like "Tell me about a time when you accomplished something," ask more specific questions like "Can you describe a project you completed under a tight deadline?" This will give you a better sense of the candidate's abilities and experience.
  • Look for quantifiable results: Ask candidates to provide specific metrics (such as revenue generated, customer satisfaction ratings, or efficiency gains) to back up their accomplishments. This will help recruiters assess the impact of their work.
  • Verify their claims: Check references, ask for examples of their work, and do background checks to verify that the candidate's accomplishments are legitimate.


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11. Determine if They Have a Learning Attitude

Candidates who are willing to learn and grow can be valuable assets to the team.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask candidates what books, blogs, podcasts, or other resources they use to stay current in their field. This will give hiring managers a sense of how proactive they are about learning.
  • Look for curiosity and analyze if the candidates are asking thoughtful questions. These candidates are more likely to be curious and open to learning.
  • Assess their flexibility and ask candidates how they have adapted to changes in their previous roles or industries. This will help evaluate their ability to learn and adapt to new situations.

12. Do Thorough Reference Checks

Reference checks can help verify a candidate's skills, work experience, and overall fit for the organization.

Tips to implement:

  • Ask specific questions: Instead of asking generic questions like "What can you tell me about this candidate?" ask more specific questions like "How did this candidate handle a difficult project or client?"
  • Contact multiple references: Try to contact at least two or three references to get a more comprehensive view of the candidate's skills and experience.
  • Verify their employment history: Ask for references to confirm the candidate's job titles, dates of employment, and key responsibilities.

13. Discuss Their Mistakes at Previous Workplaces

Asking about the candidate's past mistakes or challenges can help gauge their ability to take responsibility for their actions, learn from their mistakes, and improve their performance.

It can also help assess their problem-solving skills and how they handle difficult situations.

Tips to implement:

  • Assure the candidate that everyone makes mistakes and that the discussion is not intended to criticize or belittle them.
  • Ask the candidate to describe a specific situation where they made a mistake at work and what they did to rectify it.
  • Listen to their response carefully, and ask follow-up questions to better understand the situation and how they approached it. Recruiters can also ask them to describe what they learned from the experience and how they applied those lessons in future situations.
  • Pay attention to the candidate's attitude and demeanor during the conversation. Are they defensive or willing to take ownership of their mistakes? Do they show genuine remorse and a desire to improve?

Pro tip: Keep in mind that a candidate who is willing to talk openly about their mistakes and take responsibility for them may be more likely to learn and grow from their experiences, making them a valuable addition to the team.


14. Ask About Their Career Aspirations

Inquiring about the candidate's career goals and aspirations can help determine if they are a good fit for the job position and the company's culture.

It can also help identify candidates who are passionate about their work and willing to grow and develop their skills.

Tips to implement:

  • Start by asking the candidate about their long-term career goals. This will give recruiters an idea of their ambitions and whether they align with the position you're offering.
  • Ask about their short-term goals as well, such as what they hope to achieve in the next year or two. This will help determine whether they have a clear sense of direction and are focused on progressing in their career.
  • Ask how the position being offered fits into their career aspirations. Do they see it as a stepping stone to a larger goal, or do they see themselves growing within the position itself? This will give an idea of whether the candidate is a good fit for the role and the company culture.
  • If the candidate has expressed an interest in advancing within the company, ask about their willingness to take on additional responsibilities and their ability to work collaboratively with others. This will help assess their potential for leadership roles in the future.

Pro tip: Remember that a candidate who has clear career aspirations and is focused on achieving them may be more motivated and committed to the position and the company, making them a strong candidate.


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15. Follow Your Instincts

Trust your gut feeling when interviewing a candidate. Pay attention to your instincts and evaluate how the candidate's personality and communication style fit with the job position and the team.

Sometimes, the best candidate might not be the most qualified on paper, but they can bring valuable insights, creativity, and energy to the team.

Tips to implement:

  • Trust your instincts, but also take the time to analyze why you feel a certain way about a candidate. Is it based on their qualifications and experience, or is it a gut feeling?
  • Consider previous experiences with similar candidates. Are there any red flags or patterns that you've noticed in the past that are causing you to feel uneasy about this candidate?
  • Review the candidate's application materials, including their resume and cover letter. Do they seem to be a good fit for the position based on their qualifications and experience?
  • Conduct a thorough interview that covers both technical and soft skills. This will give a more comprehensive view of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Finally, don't make a decision based solely on your gut feeling. Use it as one of many factors to consider when assessing a candidate, but also rely on data and evidence to make an informed decision.

Wrapping Up

Remember, hiring the right candidate is crucial for the success of your company. So, take the time to assess each candidate carefully and choose the one that fits best with your organization's values, culture, and goals.


Wondering how to identify critical skills for organizational growth? Talk to our experts to learn how we enable Capgemini, Cognizant, TCS, Fujitsu and other global organizations to do so!




1. How to select the best candidate in an interview?

There are several strategies on how to select the best candidate in an interview. Here are some tips:

  • Find out what they know about your company.
  • Read their body language.
  • Ask them about their past mistakes.
  • Find out if they are team players.
  • Have them solve a problem.
  • Find out if they are resourceful.
  • Find out if they have a growth mindset.
  • Listen to the questions they ask.

 2. What are the 4 steps of how to choose the right candidate for the job?

The process of selecting the right candidates typically involves several steps, but here are the four main ones to follow:

i.Application Screening: The first step is to screen the applications of all candidates who have applied for the position. This is done to ensure that each candidate meets the basic requirements for the job.

This may include educational qualifications, relevant work experience, and other job-related skills.

ii. Interviewing: The second step is to conduct interviews with the selected candidates. This can be done through different methods, such as in-person, video, or phone interviews.

The purpose of the interview is to evaluate the candidate's communication skills, their fit with the organization's culture, and their ability to perform the job.

iii. Assessments and Tests: Depending on the job and industry, some employers may use assessments and tests to evaluate a candidate's abilities, aptitude, and personality.

These assessments and tests can help identify whether the candidate has the necessary skills and traits to perform the job.

iv. Background and Reference Checks: The final step is to conduct background and reference checks on the candidate. This can help verify the information provided by the candidate during the application and interview process.

Background checks may include criminal history checks, credit checks, and employment verification.

Reference checks are conducted by contacting the candidate's former employers or colleagues to learn more about their work ethic, skills, and job performance.

3. What is important when selecting the right candidate for the job?

Selecting the right candidate for the job is crucial for the success of the organization. Here are some tips to help you pick the right candidate for the job:

  • Trust your instincts
  • Look at the talent and cultural fit
  • Give them a relevant task
  • Take the candidate out of the office
  • Use behavioral assessments
  • Look past the resume
  • Trust the process
  • Focus on the future

In addition, it is important to evaluate various attributes of each candidate, such as their qualifications, skills, experiences, overall attitude, etc., to ensure that the candidate is the right fit for the job and the organization.


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Tanvi Sharma
Tanvi Sharma
Tanvi Sharma is a Content Strategist at iMocha. A seasoned marketer and branding consultant, she likes sewing stories together to help brands find their true and unique voice. A perfection enthusiast, she believes each and every word should serve a purpose while writing. When she’s not writing for work, she is writing fan fictions and theories, and volunteering at local animal shelters.
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