6 tips for choosing between 2 equally good candidates

6 tips for choosing between 2 equally good candidates

When interviewing for a role in your agency, you’re probably just hoping for one excellent candidate. But what happens if you have two? Both equally qualified; both aligned with your values and culture; both with the drive to succeed. Here are 6 tips to help you make the choice.

Tip 1: Define the mission critical

Every job is multi-faceted, so a cocktail of skills is required to be successful in it. Take a moment to define the top 2 or 3 mission critical skills of the role. Is it predominantly a management role? Are ideation skills essential? Once you pinpoint these requirements, you’ll be able to look closer at the candidates and see who comes with the most suited skillset.

Tip 2: Bring in reinforcements

Conducting a single, one-on-one interview only scratches the surface of getting to know your candidates. Bring in other members of the team for extra opinions. They may pick up on things that you don’t. Then consider a 360-degree interview where they can interact with other colleagues – be it a lunch, an afternoon in the office or Friday drinks. It’s an opportunity for them to let down their guard, and give a better indication of whether they’re a great cultural fit.

Tip 3: Gauge enthusiasm

Enthusiasm says a lot about a candidate. The more passion, energy and willingness they bring to the role, the better. A good gauge is determining how far they’ll go to get the job. Put a challenge before them: ask them to complete a task relevant to the job or invite them to a team brainstorm. Do they jump at the opportunity and give all? Or are they a put off by the effort?

Tip 4: Put them on the spot

We all know that good candidates prepare. So an effective way to split them is to put them on the spot. Ask them out-of-the-box questions like: ‘How would you solve this problem?’ ‘What do you see are the biggest challenges our agency faces?’ Also, remember that this is a business decision after all. So ask them about their salary expectations. If one is willing to work for less than the other, take this into consideration.

 Tip 5: Check out their connections

Your agency’s always growing and evolving. So if your candidate has acquired good connections over their career, this is a plus. Don’t be afraid to check out their LinkedIn profile. Have they worked with industry leaders? Are they connected with key players? This will only aid your agency in the long run.

Tip 6: Look to the future

You don’t want a quick-fix. You want someone who will work for and contribute to your agency for years to come. So look at your future plans. If your team is on the brink of substantial growth, consider which candidate would thrive better in this environment. If you’re about to pitch for a particular client, will their experience be your strength? If you’re lacking in social media or SEO expertise, which candidate will fill this gap? Ask your candidates scenario-based questions and determine who’s the best fit for your future.

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Best, Justine