Can a candidate be rejected based on lack of enthusiasm?

July 23rd, 2012

In the hiring process, the words on a resume only tell part of the story. One question that recurs is what propels a candidate into a true job contender, and then on to be a valuable employee? That process speaks to something that is not measurable or quantifiable: the enthusiasm shown by a job candidate in all parts of the hiring process. Is “enthusiasm” the be-all and end-all that marks your next hire? Not necessarily, but Olympic Staffing has these tips to offer as to when and how to evaluate enthusiasm as you bring your employees on board.

The Application

It’s easy to find sparks of enthusiasm in an individual’s application. Identify this early sign by looking for two things. First, look for an indication that the candidate has done some research and included details about the company. These would go beyond description and into some deeper thinking and musings about what level of competence and expertise the candidate brings. Second, a truly enthusiastic candidate will talk about how excited or interested he or she is in joining the company, and would provide compelling reasons to support that.

The Interview

An interview is give-and-take between two separate – but not opposing – forces. As an interviewer, you use that time to explain your company’s needs, and how a candidate could meet those needs.

Qualifications aren’t the only factor in hiring, so the interview is the best chance to let those intangible characteristics shine through. Interviewers can counter cool and seemingly-disinterested candidates by asking some leading questions, like “What makes you enthusiastic about this position?” and “Why do you want to be hired?” Those should draw out telling answers, and allow you to filter out people who are only passively looking, or who aren’t able to muster any energy about the opportunity.

The Follow-up

Though some say the thank you note is an old-fashioned artifact of an earlier age, truly enthusiastic candidates across most industries will follow up, either with a note or an email, with sincere gratitude for the interview opportunity. While it’s not a deal-breaker, look for it, and add that into your hiring decision as a positive.

The Offer

When you make the offer to an enthusiastic candidate, you should see how candidly his or her happiness with coming on board will shine through. This step gives you a final check on making sure your selection has the right stuff, and that your decision will pay off.

Olympic Staffing can work with your company to bring enthusiastic, motivated and qualified candidates into your hiring process. Contact our staff to start working with us on your next recruitment project.