5 Most Common Types of Candidates

Crawford Thomas Recruiting Blog

You will encounter these 5 types of candidates in your next interview process.

It is your responsibility, as an employer, to conduct a professional and informative interview. You’re going to encounter hundreds of different types of personalities along the way as you build your company. Being able to adapt to a situation and maintain control of the conversation is your top priority.

I have selected 5 of the most common personalities that I have run into as a recruiter and the ways to deal with these individuals.

If you haven’t already, write down a list of interview questions that will ultimately get you the answers you’ll need to make a decision regarding next steps in your process.


The “Yes” Man

The “yes” man, or woman, maybe the second most common personality you’ll interview. They’ll reply with “I couldn’t agree more” or “absolutely, I’ve done that a hundred times” or my favorite, “yeah, of course”. Eventually you find yourself just trying to find something they’ll disagree with!

Find out more about this person by asking specific questions such as: “Tell me about a time you’ve voiced a disagreement with your team or supervisor” and “what are you looking for in your next manager or team”. Get them talking, they can’t agree with it all, that will likely get them to burn out quickly and show their true colors.

Silence of the candidate

We’ve all had a conversation with these types before, you know, the ones that speak under their breath. One word answers. Timid and shy.

You’ll need to break through their shell somehow. Perhaps conducting the interview while walking through the office. Take them on a tour and show them where their potential desk could be. introduce them to one of your more spirited employees. They will see the types of employees roaming the office and open up for you to continue the interview.

Smooth as silk

This candidate is slick. Well prepared. All the right answers to every question. Perfect reasoning behind any red flags or gaps on the resume. Perhaps they were fired from their last role? No problem, they have a narrative to take the blame away from them. They’re too perfect! They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?

Give them an extra task in the middle of their interview to throw them off their game, but keep it relevant to your position. For a sales role, have them make a mock-pitch call. Test their skills and see how they react to a curve ball.

The Bulldozer

You’ll know this candidate is a bulldozer after you ask your first question and they speak without a breath for 10 minutes. They might be nervous, lack self-awareness, feel compelled to fill the silence… or maybe they’re just really passionate about work.

Have some backup questions ready for these candidates. Explain that these next few questions require one sentence answers that should take no longer than 20 seconds. You don’t want to miss out on important details so make sure to tell them to relate the answer to your question to ensure it’s an accepted response.

Silver medal

This candidate wasn’t bad, but they weren’t fantastic. They were okay. This is the most popular candidate-type in any interview process.

It is important after you meet with this particular candidate to reevaluate your expectations for the role. Could this individual do the job at a high level? Would they show up on time everyday? Do they meet your qualifications? Sometimes, in smaller offices, these are the most ideal profiles. They tend to avoid drama, you won’t have any problems with them. They might not put in tons of extra time, but they aren’t cutting corners either.

My advice is to hire these candidates.

I have had the pleasure of screening all of these profiles above, and then some! If you’re an employer, ready to interview and hire for the new year. Take a minute to think about the type of candidate you’re looking to bring on board. Find yourself a candidate that is humble, qualified, and eager to help your company grow.


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Crawford Thomas Recruiting5 Most Common Types of Candidates