5 Things You Won’t Learn About a Candidate From Their CV

5 Things You Won’t Learn About a Candidate From Their CV

By now, you probably know what sort of things to look out for on a candidate’s CV.

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Whether that’s certain keywords that demonstrate someone’s skills, odd gaps in employment or even keeping an eye out for spelling mistakes.

But what about the information that isn’t included in a CV?

While searching for the normal key attributes is imperative, considering these ‘other details’ could arguably be just important. Because if you don’t, you may just miss out on a top professional.

To give you a better idea of these mysterious other bits of information you should remember when hiring, here are a few examples to get you started.

How hard they work

Experience is extremely important.

However, good talent and know-how don’t necessarily make an employee a hard worker.

Think of it this way, you could be a salesperson with over 20 years of experience, but if you’re only making 10 calls a day compared to an inexperienced colleague’s 50, there’s a high probability that the latter will get more sales.

Work ethic is an attribute which isn’t easy to teach.

A professional can spend years learning things, but if they’re not willing to apply those things efficiently, your business will take a hit.

The best way to identify someone’s work ethic is to carry out a pre-screening telephone interview.

Some good questions to ask include:

  • What do you see as a priority while working?
  • How have you gone above and beyond for a customer or client before?
  • Can you name a time when you’ve had to work to a tight deadline? And how did you successfully handle this situation?

You can find more examples of questions you should ask during a telephone interview here.

Alternatively, if applicable (and feasible), you could always ask potential candidates to come in for a paid work trial.

This will enable you to see how they work and get a better grip on whether they’re the right fit for your company.

The way they look

No, this doesn’t mean you should hold a beauty pageant.

When I refer to the way they look, I’m speaking about how they present themselves.

For instance, are they dressed appropriately and professionally?

Do they have a warm and contagious smile which customers or clients will adore?

In this day and age, a lot of customers and businesses will make snap judgments on a company, simply by how their staff look.

So, if they are wearing dirty clothes or look uninterested, this won’t exactly paint the right image of your company, will it?

To effectively get around this, you’ll need to invite potential candidates in for a face-to-face interview.

However, if you want to get an early indication, you can always have a snoop on their social media profiles or arrange a pre-screening interview via Skype.

Their body language

This point nicely links in with a candidate’s appearance, as the look and body language work are forms of communication.

Interestingly, research suggests that 93% of human communication is non-verbal. So as an employer, how are you going to tell whether a candidate is truly interested in a role or if they will make your clients or customers feel welcome?

Hiring someone with the right body language and energy has the potential to breathe new life into your team.

Like the appearance point, you can usually get an idea of a candidate’s body language by conducting a pre-screening interview via Skype.

However, in this case, you won’t need to ask a series of particular questions. Body language is something you can see when they’re talking.

Great signs to look out for include having relaxed shoulders, using their hands to show that they’re enthusiastic and non-verbally acknowledging what you’re saying.

A candidate’s reputation

As the old proverb goes; “your reputation precedes you”.

This is very true when it comes to work, as references can reveal some interesting truths about candidates.

The only annoyance is that you can’t usually ask for them until you’ve hired a person!

To get around this, take a look at the candidate’s LinkedIn profile to see if they have any recommendations. You can also get a sense of someone’s persona and professionalism by studying their Facebook or Twitter feeds.

See what kind of posts they share, tweets they send or how they interact with friends and family. While this isn’t the absolute solution, it will help you get a flavour of their reputation and how they hold themselves.

Their willingness to cooperate with management

This point is integral to your company’s work culture.

If you hire someone with the wrong attitude towards their managers, this can have a knock-on effect with other colleagues, including growing unrest among employees and negative comments.

As an employer, you want a candidate who is willing to listen and learn from their manager.

With this in mind, it’s very important that you get all senior members of staff who will be working alongside the new recruit to sit in during the interview stages.

You’ll then be able to get the thoughts of all stakeholders and managers, ensuring that everyone is ok with your hiring decision.

Bad signs which indicate that a candidate doesn’t respond well to a manager’s instructions include:

  • Coming across as very independent
  • Being abrupt and too formal
  • A non-friendly presence – i.e. they don’t smile a lot
  • Showing a clear lack of interest in the interviewers’ lives


The main this to remember here is that taking more time to make your hiring decision will benefit you in the long-run.

By carrying out pre-screening Skype interviews, telephone interviews or just looking at a candidate’s social media profiles can give you the necessary information required which their CV wouldn’t include.

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