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Job seekers kneeling before boss, hr

5 signs of a desperate job seeker

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Regardless of the industry, job description, or required skill set, one of the things any recruiter looks for in a candidate is enthusiasm. If someone isn’t even excited about the prospect of the work, chances are they won’t enjoy it once they start.

The difficulty with determining genuine enthusiasm is that even the greenest candidate right out of school knows they’re supposed to act excited, so you’ll rarely come across an interviewee who acts as if they’re bored. Additionally, you have to wonder whether they’re truly enthusiastic about this specific job at your company, or whether they just desperately need a job.

In a post on Forbes, career expert Liz Ryan sets out the following five candidate behaviours that signal desperation:

  1. Applying for different jobs in the same organisation
  2. Talking about how badly they need or want the job during the interview
  3. Bringing past performance reviews to the job interview
  4. Telling the recruiter they’re happy to start at the bottom, get the lowest salary, and work any hours
  5. Interrupting the interviewer as they’re describing the job saying “I’ve done that! And that too!”

While all of these behaviours combined may be a red flag, at the end of the day everyone needs to work. The fact that someone needs a job to pay their bills shouldn’t stop you from considering them, and a cash-strapped and therefore slightly desperate candidate can still be the right fit, if their skills and personality are a match.

When judging people on the behaviours above, keep in mind that a little desperation can be a big motivator, and by giving someone the opportunity they need you could be gaining a loyal employee.

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