It’s easy enough to hire candidates with the skills and education you need. After all, that information is listed on their resumes and can be verified. What you can’t tell until you talk to someone is whether they have the passion and desire you want in a potential employee.

Don’t most people put their best foot forward in an interview though? Isn’t it possible that they’re faking their enthusiasm? Here are three ways you can determine whether a candidate is truly passionate about a job:


1. Dig Deep to Find Their Special Talents
Take the time to explore a candidate’s work history and do a detailed, job-by-job review. Find out where this person excelled in past roles. Which specific achievements got recognized and rewarded? At which job did she get promoted? At which job or jobs did he/she really shine? This will show you where the candidate finds their on-the-job passion. Then you can decide whether that passion matches the job you’re trying to fill.

For example, someone who is terrific at wooing new clients probably won’t be the right fit for a management position that will put her behind a desk, never meeting customers.

Or, someone who has found success at pursuing engineering solutions on a solo basis may not thrive in a position that requires teamwork.


2. Look for Unusual Behavior
Is this a candidate who plays it safe or someone who is willing to take risks? Ask! ‘Tell me about some of the risks you’ve taken and how they turned out.” An employee with passion for his work will have the confidence and commitment that allows him to go beyond the everyday. A person who has never taken a risk and only toes the party line will probably never become a superstar employee.


3. Expect to be Questioned.
Pay close attention to the questions candidates ask. A passionate employee will not only ask a few canned questions. They’ll listen to your answers, then ask more questions based on your responses. Instead of sticking to a script they prepared beforehand, they’re following one idea to another idea to another idea with genuine curiosity. That shows passion. If they don’t, either they’re not passionate, or they’re just not passionate about your job.

Many employers would say they want passionate employees, but if they ask cookie-cutter questions during an interview, they’ll end up with cookie-cutter hires. Do you want employees who stay in a box, or think and act their way out of it?


For more interviewing advice, feel free to contact the experts at WorkSource. With over eight years of experience in the staffing industry, we are passionate about helping both employers and employees find the perfect match!

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