5 Signs You’re Interviewing A Gem Who Will Go Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

For everyone involved, interviews are tough business. If you’re the one in the hot seat, you’re worried about making the right first impression, answering questions thoroughly and presenting your best self to an employer all while trying to wrap your arms around the opportunity.


On the flip side of things, if you’re the one asking the questions, you’ve got control on your side, but it can be hard to know whether or not the person you’re interviewing would mesh well with your team to make a positive impact.


For the sake of today’s discussion, we’ll be focusing more on the latter—how exactly you can know if someone will fit the void your company is looking to fill. And while this is by no means a foolproof process, the following five signs should have you smiling favorably on a candidate:


1) They’re Emotionally Intelligent


The term “emotional intelligence,” or EQ as it’s commonly known, is the idea that success comes about through authenticity, personal perseverance, skill and self-control. Though the EQ concept has only been around since the early 1990s, hiring managers have widely taken to administering EQ tests to wide-eyed applicants hoping to make a splash in the business world.


There’s a reason for this—emotional intelligence is needed to break new ground in business. Because of this, during an interview, give extra attention to those candidates who get beyond cookie-cutter questions and answers, showing who they really are and what they actually think along with how they approach understanding your role and what it takes to be successful. In the end, it’s them who will bring something fresh to the table.


2) They Get Beyond the Confines of a Job Descriptions


Mediocrity isn’t hard to find, but you’re looking for someone who will go “above and beyond the call of duty.” To increase the likelihood of making the right hire the first time, ask targeted questions about the role your candidate plans to fill as part of your company. His or her responses will help you see how clearly an initial job description was understood.


But once again, your business’ success demands more than mere normalcy. As such, pose additional questions about what a potential employee hopes to accomplish in the future while working with you. Do their responses have them pushing for greatness, or solely accepting the responsibilities that might be given them? To be the best, you need only the best.


3) They Ask Timely, Educated Questions


Have you ever been part of a conversation in which someone just couldn’t align with the flow of things? Awkward questions, inappropriate jokes and a general lack of enthusiasm might have done said person in, but in the workplace (especially in sales), there’s no room for this. Needless to say, the questions an interviewee asks are just as important as yours.


Yes, job candidates should be socially skilled, but you’re looking for a specific kind of question as part of this exercise—critical questions. Focus your energy on those who get beyond run-of-the-mill inquiries about salary, vacation time, insurance and work schedule. Simply put, if you hear questions others have failed to formulate or are too afraid to ask, you’re in luck.


4) They’re Ready to Prove Themselves


Education, accomplishments, past work experience and raw talent are all great, but few things will take a person farther in the working world than drive. Seriously, no matter the job or task at hand, if up-and-coming professionals are truly motivated to prove others (or themselves, for that matter) wrong, they’ll go where the typical and disinterested refuse.


Obviously, the interview environment might not be the easiest of settings to discover what genuinely (the deep stuff) motivates someone, but it doesn’t hurt to flat-out ask for the “Why?” behind a candidate’s interest in your opening.


5) Believe It or Not … Quirkiness


As someone with a few apparent quirks to her name (I’m a cat person), I absolutely love this one. Don’t get me wrong or anything—I’m not saying that you should purely employ the odd, strange and unusual, but be on the lookout for a person that breaks the mold of what’s most commonly accepted in your industry.


Now there’s no room for disrespect, but who’s to say that a bit of irreverence or eccentricity isn’t good for office culture? Furthermore, it makes sense to reason that innovative, out-of-the-box thinking would call for innovative, out-of-the-box thinkers. By no means is quirkiness a requirement, but it can be a real game-changer for your growing business.




Conducting interviews isn’t a science, but it certainly comes with its own set of tried-and-true tactics. The above are five of them. I’ve used them, and because of them, I’ve helped businesses just like yours find the talent they need to take things to the next level.


I had fun with this post, and I hope you did, too. But instead of just packing up and moving on, why don’t we keep this conversation going a little while longer? In the comments section below, let me know what you do to separate the best candidates from the rest during the interview process. I’m excited to see what you’ve got for me. Until then, thanks for reading!