Three things that show a potential employee is serious about a job include an applicant's preparation, demeanor and follow up throughout the entire interview process. To find a serious candidate, you should look for consistency in all hiring aspects from the submitted application to the interview to the thank you note.
When searching for suitable applicants weed out the bad apples by giving specific instructions in the application process. Job descriptions need to explain duties, additional expectations and company culture. In addition, it should request an explanation as to why an aspirant is a good fit for the job. Thoughtful candidates will follow instructions as well as provide a focused cover letter, resume and work samples that demonstrate a familiarity with the company mission, its website and the position. Job applicants who submit a generic cover letter and resume show a lack of interest are not serious candidates. If you're looking for applicants who make a serious effort, your job description and application needs to reflect this objective.
Serious candidates who are intent on obtaining a position in your company show up on time for the interview and are prepared for the interview. While promptness shows appreciation for an interviewer's time, it also sets a precedent for future expectations. If an interview is not important enough for an applicant to arrive on time, it's a good bet that this is an ongoing habit. On a positive note, telltale signs of an interviewee's readiness are attentiveness to an interviewer's questions by means of thoughtful responses and supplemental documentation, such as a portfolio of work samples. Prospective employees who shows up on time and prepared are applicants who are worthy of further consideration.
Likewise, if a potential hire with a proven record of accomplishment contacts you directly through deliberate networking, this is a sign of a serious candidate. It's to your benefit to skip additional standard hiring procedures to acquire top talent or risk losing a serious candidate who is a good fit for your company.
After the initial application and job interview, attentive job seekers take the time to thank company personnel with a well-worded note addressed to an interviewer or an interview panel. While it's a simple task, it means so much more. Thank you notes reiterate the candidate's interest and demonstrate an inclination to follow up with internal and external clients.
Lastly, companies interested in recruiting top talent must realize interviewing goes both ways. You're looking for a qualified person for your company, and interviewees are seeking job opportunities supporting a career path. Interviewers need to craft explicit job descriptions and ask pertinent questions to acquire serious candidates. In sum, serious candidates are prepared, professional and proactive; if a potential employee reflects these qualities, you know that person is serious about the position.