5 Adjectives You Want to Hear Job Candidates Say.

It’s difficult to tell what kind of person someone is just by their resume. Heck, it can even be difficult to tell when face to face with the person. But there are some approaches that will do the trick.

Chances are you want a hire who’s self-motivated, honest and trustworthy — in addition to having the background you’re looking for, of course.

While candidates will likely tell you they’re all those things if asked, it’s also likely they’re doing so because they know that’s what you want to hear (whether it’s true or not).

Five words you want to hear candidates say that indicate they’re made of the right stuff:

1 Honest
2 Respectful
3 Punctual
4 Curious, and
5 Accountable.

Whether or not you hear adjectives like these will tell you how much the candidate cares about others and about doing the right thing.

‘When nobody was looking’

Ask candidates this question: When in your life have you made a decision that you’re proud of — when nobody was looking?

If candidates take a while to answer, they’re likely not good fit. Candidates with integrity should have little trouble recalling situations — and the decisions they made in them — that reveal their true character.

Bad indicators

What you don’t want to hear are indicators the candidate has as an “all-about-me” attitude.

Some of those indicators could be dropping adjectives like:

1 Carefree
2 Fun
3 Laid back

Describing themselves in these ways aren’t necessarily deal breakers. Those qualities can actually be good things when balanced out by professional attributes. But finding out whether that’s the case requires deeper probing.