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How to spot a motivated candidate - Part 2

In my previous blog post I mentioned five strategies as to how an interviewer can find out to what extent a job candidate is motivated. In this blog post I would like to give you some further ideas. 

# 6 - Look at the questions asked. 

The number and kind of questions a candidate asks at the end of an interview tells you a lot about how motivated someone is. Coming prepared with a list of questions already written down shows definitely one’s commitment and seriousness. 

# 7 - Does the candidate have something to show? 

There are certain jobs in which a jobseeker can stand out from the crowd by showing work samples that have been created, designed and written in the past (e.g. websites, translations, articles, logo designs, videos etc.) If a candidate does not just tell you what he did, but is able to demonstrate it with several, impressive samples, it can be considered as a further sign of serious interest.  

# 8 -  Prepared to go the extra mile? 

If a candidate invests considerable time and effort in creating something to promote the company, that he applied at, it makes the person definitely stand out. I applied once with a speculative CV at a College in London. I will never forget the glance that the two female executives had on their face, when I showed them my pocket-sized promotional tool that would help their employees to sell their courses to potential students. This was my secret weapon in the last interview stage that helped me to get the job. What can we learn from  it? Always watch out for the ones who go the extra mile! If they are prepared to make a little more extra effort before they even have the job, they will be even more committed once they are hired!  

# 9 - How persistent is the job candidate? 

If a job candidate re-applies at the same company (for another job) after being turned down the first time, it shows that he desperately wants to be part of this company and team. Persistence sometimes pays off and candidates should deserve another chance. 

# 10 - Ask for other interests in life. 

A motivated person is not just excited about his professional life but also his personal life. Find out what other outside interests the person has, e.g. learning a new language, participating in a marathon, supporting the community with some initiatives etc. It tells you a lot about a person’s motivation, ambition and goals in life. 

# 11 - How tailor made is the cover letter and CV? 

A motivated candidate can also be found in the CV screening stage. If a CV and particularly a cover letter is tailor made for the job and company (with concrete suggestions as to how the person can add value to the company) you should consider that person as seriously keen on the job. The person wants you to know that “I’m seriously interested in this job and want to work for your company.” 

# 12 - How much initiative does the person take?  

Who do you think is more motivated? 

Candidate 1: who takes the initiative to meet a Hiring Manager to find out if there are any career opportunities in his sector in his favourite company or 

Candidate 2: someone who applied for a job based on a job ad? 

In this case candidate 1 proved to be proactive by taking the initiative to approach his dream company. Candidate 2 instead showed to be reactive and applied for a job that needs to be filled.  

# 13 - Does the person offer to work for free? 

Sometimes there are candidates who offer to work on a voluntary basis without being paid for it, for a certain period of time or for a certain project. In this case the degree of self-motivation is undoubtedly noticeable. 

Every candidate will tell you how motivated s/he is, but only the ones who show you through their actions and their tangible evidence, will be able to land the job.  Bear in mind that self-motivation is something that a candidate either has or doesn’t have, unfortunately no school and no employer is able to teach you that.

About Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin is a career blogger at SuedtirolCareer.com
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