By now, you’ve likely seen so many cover letters and resumes that they’re beginning to look like they’ve all been copied and pasted from some generic template. The tones of the cover letters are equally pleasant and professional and the list of job experiences and role responsibilities all appear as if each candidate is a top level executive.

How do you tell one candidate apart from the next one?

The good old job interview, of course! The only problem is that many interviews are prepared for in much the same ways. Your candidates each enter the room with a smile, shake your hand firmly and seem only too enthusiastic about working for your company.

All of this is great. But none of it necessarily helps to determine which of your candidates would make the perfect fit for your company. I’ve heard many say, “I’m an excellent judge of character”. Perhaps you are. Basing your hiring decision on first impressions and good resume writing skills will be accurate 50% of the time.

You’re not just looking for someone who can do the job. You’re looking for the ideal addition to the culture of your work environment. It’s as important to consider one’s work behaviour, career goals and who will demonstrate initiative as much as his or her job experience and academic achievements.

So how do you go about finding the right fit for your company?

According to Minda Zetlin on, “hiring someone who doesn’t fit your company’s personality can be a very costly mistake.” So, with the advice of SPLICE Software CEO, Tara Kelly, she highly recommends that you screen your candidates with “culture questions” over the phone. That way, you’ll be able to better assess if the candidate’s personality meshes with the culture of your brand.

Of course, that makes it pretty important to define your company’s culture. In other words, be sure to “identify the values that drive you and your employees to show up and work hard every day,” explains Zetlin. She goes on to note that you should consider the ways in which your company compares to others in the industry. What sets it apart? What makes it unique? Someone who captures these qualities makes an ideal choice for a job interview.

What types of questions should you ask during the job interview?

It’s a good idea to cater your questions around the discovery of what makes your candidates tick. To be more specific, probe to find out why they want to work for your company, what their expectations are, what inspires them and why. On, SAP Senior Director of Marketing Communications, Craig Cincotta advises hiring managers to hire people who are aligned with how your business operates and the values you live by.

“I like to learn from people who their points of inspiration are,” he reveals, “Who are their role models and what makes those people special to the candidate? You often garner quite a few insights from this question as it gives you a peak into the behavioural patterns an individual respects and in many cases models themselves after.”

Cincotta goes on to mention that it’s important to discover what motivates your candidate to want to come into work every. You’ll also want to inquire about his or her ability to work with others. Perhaps, even more importantly than finding a team player is one who can acknowledge that he or she actually is of greater value when working on a team. “The best hires know that they don’t know everything,” says Cincotta, “They are aware of their strengths and limitations and can speak to them both with transparency and candour.”

You may have guessed that we’re only scratching the surface here. To truly find job candidates who are the right fits for your company, the implementation of sound recruitment strategies are necessary. A topic I never get tired of talking about.