What makes a perfect job candidate?

“I’ve got the PERFECT candidate for you!” We’ve all heard that before and maybe even looked at a job ad and thought the same thing about ourselves.

What if I told you there is no such thing. There is no ‘perfect’ candidate and there is no ‘perfect’ job. But, there is such a thing as right fit and being that candidate who shows the greatest potential to excel in that role. That is who you want to be. 

So what steps can you take to get there? Here are my top tips:


1. Determine what you’re passionate about

How can you come across as that ‘right fit’ candidate? It’s simple. Take the time to reflect on what you are interested in and passionate about. It makes the whole process a lot smoother, plus this passion comes across in the interview and really showcases to the hiring manager that you have the potential to do great things in that position.

A strong sense of passion for the role you are applying for is a strength. Keep it in your arsenal. I suggest going into the interview with tangible examples of the work you have completed to really showcase your interest in and passion for that line of work. Hiring managers want to hire someone who truly enjoys what they are doing. So don’t just tell them, show them! And as you know, happy employees are productive employees. Who wouldn’t want a passionate and productive workforce that gets things done?

So, establish your interests from the outset and use this to guide your job search. That is how you will be the right candidate for the right role. A perfect fit!


2. Be clear about what environment is going to motivate you

My advice, particularly when you make it to the interview stage, is to be clear about what is going to motivate you within that role. Your work environment can be a significant motivator, so determine what it is within this environment that will help you perform your best. For example, a nurturing team environment may be what you are seeking. If this aligns with the company’s culture, then you’ve got a match! 


3. Opportunities for motivation vs motivation for opportunities

Where is it that you want to go in your career? Where do you want it to take you? A piece of advice I will share is to develop an understanding of the opportunities that will motivate you. Determine whether this role will provide you with such opportunities and if so, you’re looking at a good fit. Maybe it’s the opportunity for career growth or the opportunity to learn new skills. Uncover what it is that will drive you to perform your best work. 

But, remember… it’s not only about what you can get out of the job. Being a great candidate also involves demonstrating that you will provide value to the company through your work. It’s about showing that it is not only opportunities that will motivate you, but also a desire to work towards a common aim and purpose. You need to have the company’s best interests at heart as they do yours. That’s how you can become the right candidate for the right role.


4. Be driven to succeed

Demonstrate drive and tenacity so that the hiring manager can rest assured that you will be relentless in your bid to overcome any obstacles. At the end of the day, this is what makes a great candidate. Sure, you may not always have the skills or experience they are after, but a candidate with passion and drive can be a great, if not better, fit in the role. Experience will accrue over time and skills can be built up, but if the fundamentals of ambition and persistence aren’t there, then the hiring manager may be asking, is this candidate really the person I want in this role?

When I was starting out in my career as a young consultant, I didn’t have the years of experience under my belt that my older co-workers did. But what I did have was a strong sense of drive and determination. This is something that has held me in good stead over the course of my career


5. Find the role that will bring out the best in you

As I mentioned earlier, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ job, so really understanding what motivates you and what you are passionate about will allow you to hone in on the exact type of role that will bring out the best in you. The job description may include some tasks that you aren’t too sold on, but if it overwhelmingly speaks to your strengths and passions, it’s a go!

In my experience, if you are passionate about something, you will be driven to succeed. You will be willing to work hard, and no challenge will be too difficult, because you are happy to be there and eager to learn. Ultimately, this is what makes a great candidate.

If you are looking for a new digital or tech role, check out Talent’s job search for the latest career opportunities in your field.