Skip to content

When it comes to interviews, there is a lot of advice out there. We have personally written upwards of 30 articles around interview tips and tricks, how to answer common interview questions, rocking phone interviews and so many more.

Let’s simplify this for you.

Glassdoor did a survey of 750 hiring managers last year and found that 9 out of 10 all listed one very simple trait that they look for in a candidate during an interview and the good news? It’s a trait anyone and everyone can have.

So what is it?

88% of survey participants stated that a quality candidate is an informed candidate. Sounds pretty simple but it is also quite a broad statement. So what is an informed candidate and how do you ensure you mirror the trait that will place you on the radar of 9/10 hiring managers?

An Informed Candidate…

Knows what they Want

An informed candidate knows exactly what they are hoping to achieve from their next step. This could be progression opportunities, culture, lifestyle, salary, location, projects etc.

They fully understand what is important to them and as a result, don’t want to waste either their own time or a potential employers time through indecision. If an offer comes their way, they are in a good place to know immediately if they will accept it.

They’re Prepared

An informed candidate has done their research. They have researched the market to understand where their experience stands within it. They’ve researched the company and the team they are interviewing with. They can not only hold their own in an industry or company focused conversation, but add real, meaningful input and points of view the hiring manager maybe hasn’t considered.

They’ve also researched the company’s cultural values and mission statement and put considerable thought into how that might align with their own personal views.

They’ve Researched the Role

Sometimes job descriptions can be pretty vague but for an informed candidate, this doesn’t matter. They do their research about the role from as many sources as possible prior to an interview to get the most out of the conversation. Social media platforms like LinkedIn make learning about a company, potential colleagues and the duties they perform relatively easy and an informed candidate capitalises on this.

Demonstrates their Experience

Seems like a moot point that in an interview a candidate should be able to demonstrate their experience. The difference for an informed candidate is that they demonstrate their experience in a very practical and factual matter. They answer questions in an interview by drawing on real examples rather than relying on superlatives.

For example, when asked if they are a “good team player”, instead of saying they are a “people person” and love team scenarios, they’re answer will describe a specific team project, their role within that team, the outcomes achieved and how their personal input contributed to the group outcome.

Asks Relevant Questions

At the inevitable point of the interview where a candidate is asked “do you have any questions”, an informed candidate is ready to learn as much as they can to help them make a decision should they receive an offer.

They will have prepared a number of well-thought out questions they can ask that may not have already been answered during the interview that will showcase their research and interest in a long-term career with that company. For example: “I had a look at your LinkedIn profile and you have been with ____ for a number of years. How do you feel your role has changed in this time? What support have you received to face the challenges during this time?”.

They Know Their Worth

Not everyone likes talking about their salary. An informed candidate however takes the awkwardness out of the conversation by situating their worth in the market and knowing what they want prior to the interview.

They do this by researching salary trends, looking at what job adverts are offering, talking to people in similar roles (who don’t mind revealing what they earn), talking to industry specialist recruiters and reading industry salary surveys.