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What Qualities Does a Recruiter Look For in a Candidate?

Many job seekers believe that recruiters or hiring managers focus on education level, experience and skills when finding a new candidate to hire. While this may be true, employers are more concerned about other attributes not included in the job listing. These candidate qualities apply in any job, so whether you are applying for an engineering position or a mere office messenger, it is crucial you understand what are the qualities an interviewer is looking for in a candidate during an interview.

We have prepared this article about the top things hiring managers look for in a job interview. This is so that you may be able to fully understand what recruiters look for in a candidate and be ready to face the next job interviews and hopefully get hired. Take a look below.

1. Understanding What the Company is all About

It is advisable that you conduct the necessary due diligence about a company you are willing to work for and understand what it does. You do not want to go into a job interview and fail to answer basic questions about the company. This only shows that your primary interest is finding work rather than working for them. So, no matter how qualified you think you are, this element is crucial and should never be overlooked.

2. Ambition

Recruiters and career experts always prefer ambitious candidates who are not only interested in a job position but plan to grow their careers with the company. Therefore, during job interviews, recruiters or hiring managers will ask about your previous achievements and plans in the few years to come. If they feel like you are not ambitious and willing to work long-term, your dream job may just pass you by.

3. Ability to Handle Job Interviews

No recruiter will consider you if you come to the interview meeting unprepared. Therefore, you should dress like a professional and mind your body language. Also, answer the questions you are asked like a professional rather than someone who rehearsed for a test. You should also challenge the hiring manager by asking questions about the company’s policy and background to show that you are genuinely interested and willing to commit to working for them.

4. Responsibility

Although talent acquisition professionals consider work experience and achievements when recruiting new talent, they want to know your ability to work as a team. Therefore, during interviews, they will gauge your communication skills and how you answer questions to determine if you are humble and can work under minimal supervision. For instance, if you keep answering interview questions while emphasizing “I” and now “we”, recruiters will believe that you are not concerned about team efforts and can never take responsibility for your actions in the workplace. 

5. Ability to Learn New Skills

A hiring manager will want to know what you have learned from previous work experiences and if you are willing to keep learning while adapting to new work trends and technology. For example, hiring managers will ask about previous challenges and how you handled them. They will also want to know that you won’t be resistant to new technology implementation, such as using new software to simplify various organizational tasks.

6. Great Personality

No matter how educated or skilled you are, no one will hire you if you do not possess a good personality. This means that you need to show positivity during job interviews and prove to the hiring managers that you can interact with fellow workers and clients without affecting the company’s reputation. So go into the interview meeting full of energy and smile to make the interviewer feel comfortable around you. However, remember not to overdo it.

7. Good Listener

While it is essential to express yourself during job interviews and prove that you are fit for a job position, be a good listener. Recruiters are always keen on this element since they want an individual who can understand instructions and follow them as expected. Therefore, take your time to think before answering so that you do not divert from the questions asked.

8. Reliable

If a candidate doesn’t possess a reliability trait, is a deal-breaker when looking for a job. You want the recruiter or hiring manager to trust you and know that they can rely on you moving forward. So, make sure you keep time for interview meetings, be honest even if you believe what you say may compromise your chances, and deliver requested documents on time as promised. 

9. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Employers like working with individuals who understand where they excel and fall short. You do not want to be given a task that will limit your capabilities, thus delaying a company’s progress. You should also be willing to learn and improve on your weaknesses to be a better version of what you were when hired. So, this goes back to being honest and letting the recruiting manager know your strengths during the job interviews.

10. Leadership Skills

While you need to be ambitious and show that you are willing to progress your career, employers also look for individuals with leadership skills. This will be shown in your work history whether you have ever volunteered for any work, assumed any work responsibility or have led a team in executing specific tasks. Recruiters will also ask you questions to gauge your leadership skills, so make sure you fully prepare yourself before attending a job interview meeting. 


The job market is dominated by many job seekers with the right qualifications and work experience. However, to identify the best from the dozens of job seekers, employers also need to understand what to look for when interviewing a new employee. For job seekers, knowing what recruiters look for in a candidate will improve their chances of landing their dream jobs. So take your time to fully prepare for interviews and leave a good impression on the talent acquisition professionals.

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