Unique personalities are what make your workforce so diverse – and every relationship interesting. As you interview candidates for an open position at your company, you may be surprised at the different types of people you meet, even though all of them are vying for the same job.

It Takes All Kinds

It’s crucial to know about different types of candidates and be ready to speak productively with each of them, so you can make the best possible hiring decisions.


  • Anxious Andy/Annie. This candidate couldn’t be more nervous about their interview if they tried – and it’s written all over their face. They may stumble, stammer or sweat. Their hands may shake and their voices may tremble. Ease the tension by asking a few innocuous questions to bring them back to their comfort zone; for instance, “How’s your summer going? Have you seen any good movies?”
  • Chatty Cathy/Charlie. While you know the importance of listening to candidates, with this one you can’t get a word in edgewise. They. Just. Don’t. Stop. Talking … ever! It’s possible they’re nervous, lack self-awareness, or simply feel compelled to fill every gap in your conversation. Move into “lightning rod” mode by asking them to keep their responses to 30-to-60 seconds each.
  • Silent Sam/Sally. This person is the opposite of Chatty Cathy/Charlie. Their responses are limited to “yes, no” and other one-word statements. Bring them out of their shell with an unexpected change of environment. Take them on an impromptu facility tour or to the cafeteria for coffee. If you’re lucky, this is all it will take to open them up.
  • Blame Game Betsy/Bob. Every story this candidate tells is filled with finger pointing. Nothing that has ever gone wrong in their lives has been their fault. Somebody else always made the mistake. Guide them into a different mindset by asking something positive, such as “What was the best quality of your previous manager?” or “What’s an important lesson you learned from a previous colleague?” If this doesn’t change the tone of their responses, be forewarned.
  • Friendly Fred/Faye. This individual is uber-friendly and has the outgoing personality to match. They are just so much fun that you can’t wait to work with them – regardless of their qualifications. Whoa … take a reality check! Refocus the conversation away from your common interests and back to business.
  • Nodding Nick/Nell. This is the classic “yes person.” They will not disagree with anything you say, ever. Find out what’s behind their tendency to constantly appease you. Try asking “What qualities do you find frustrating in a manager?” or “Can you describe a time you disagreed with your team?”

The good news is: You can build a strong, diversified workforce by gleaning the best qualities of every prospective hire. And the right staffing agency can help ensure you see only top-tier candidates – effectively eliminating the “doozies” before they ever cross your doorstep. Let PrideStaff Modesto be that staffing partner – and see quicker, more effective hires and heightened productivity and profitability as a result. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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