What makes a great candidate?

As recruiters with many years of experience interviewing and placing candidates we know how hard job-hunting can be. There is so much work involved in sorting out your CV, finding new opportunities, writing persuasive cover letters – and then you have to try and stand out from the other candidates too.

We asked our consultants what makes a great candidate - here's a few of their best tips. 


“Reliability is the number one quality we, and our clients, value in a candidate. Everyone involved in recruitment has had plenty of experience dealing with unreliable candidates who don’t turn up for interview, or, even worse, don’t arrive on their first day. The candidates we know we can rely on to do what they say they will always be the most popular with our clients,” Angela, RecruitAbility consultant.


“Excellent presentation is so important,” says Wendy Barriball, RecruitAbility director. “Not all interviews require a suit but if you don’t know for certain err on the side of caution and dress smartly. Clothes and shoes don’t have to be the height of fashion but should always be clean and neat. Presenting yourself well shows clients you’re keen to make a good impression.”

Positive and enthusiastic attitude

“Always be positive and enthusiastic at interview,” Wendy continues. “Whether you are meeting a recruitment agent or a client remember to smile and make eye-contact. Speak positively about the role and your own experience – for many clients a great attitude is even more important than your work experience. Never, ever speak badly of your previous employers. If you have had a bad experience speak to your consultant about how to frame this in positive terms. Finally – try and enjoy yourself! If you enjoy your interview your positivity will shine through.”


“When we register temps we need various documents such as passports or residence permits, which we make clear to candidates before interview. I love candidates who come to meet me with all the correct documents,” says Marion, RecruitAbility’s Temps Controller. “It gets our relationship off to a great start and creates an excellent first impression.”

“Our clients react very well to candidates who have prepared well for their interview,” says Lucy Fowler, RecruitAbility director. “Those who have read the job spec thoroughly, researched the client, familiarised themselves with their own CV and prepared some questions to ask will stand out from the crowd.”


“We really appreciate it when candidates communicate well. Replying to emails and other messages, answering your phone, calling us back quickly – and, most importantly, ringing us after an interview to give feedback – will make you very popular in the RecruitAbility office!” Adrienne, RecruitAbility consultant.




Posted on Monday Feb 3