Simple Strategies for Hiring on Enthusiasm

You’ve had an interview with an extremely qualified candidate; on paper, she seems like a great fit for the position. Her references seem strong, and she answers your questions thoroughly…but she never once seems as though she actually wants the job. She doesn’t even mention wanting it, making it seem as though she’s simply going through the motions because she knows she has solid qualifications. So, do you hire her even though she has zero enthusiasm for the position?

  • Consider what you need. What sort of person do you want for the position? Obviously you want someone who has the qualifications you need, but you also want someone eager to do the job and throw all of their effort into it. The ideal candidate shows eagerness to learn all she can about the position, the company, the clients and her role in promoting the latter two. When you give the chance to ask questions at the end of the interview, see if she asks any questions that demonstrate this; look for the candidate who wants to know how she can best contribute.
  • Gauge their willingness to work. You’d think the idea of a solid work ethic would rank as an obvious trait for a candidate, but some people just don’t want to put in the effort or go beyond the minimum. Any candidate who hesitates at working longer hours on an important project (as sometimes happens) or wants a flexible schedule but seems unwilling to get work done while “on the clock,” may become more of a hindrance than a help down the road. 
  • Listen carefully when they answer questions. Ask questions to see how open candidates are to coaching from others, working with a team, getting thrown a curveball in the middle of a project, etc. The candidate who willingly accepts these sorts of scenarios demonstrates the kind of enthusiasm and ability to adapt that you want on your team.
  • Do tread carefully. A candidate who has excellent qualifications but seems unenthusiastic in the interview may still turn out as a strong hire. He may be shy, a quality often judged by interviewers as monotone, unfriendly or uninterested…and that will have no bearing on his ability to perform excellently. His reserved manner may come from the fact that he doesn’t want you to confuse enthusiasm with overconfidence or desperation. Make sure you ask questions to measure interest. If you still get limp responses, you may want to come right out and point out his answers indicate he doesn’t really want the position, and see how he responds.

When hiring, you want a candidate with the full package if possible. Make sure one of your hiring considerations includes enthusiasm for the position — you always want someone positive on your team. For help with your next great hire, reach out to the Thousand Oaks staffing experts at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks.