How to identify high performer candidates

As an employer you only want to hire the best, but how do you find high performer candidates?

A high performer can really transform your workplace, if you know how to find them. The application and interview process can sometimes feel too rigid to really get to know candidates, but we’re here to show you how to identify high performers.

Who are high performers?

1 – They are commercially savvy

High performers already know your business inside-out. They naturally love research and gaining knowledge, so they will be immensely prepared for their interview. They know how they can help you and your company succeed in your market.

2 – They are resilient

They will be big innovators who love to take risks. They aren’t afraid of failure or coming up with new ideas to solve problems because it’s in their nature. Your high performer will be excited about change and willing to talk about their mistakes.

3 – They are adaptable

High performers will be able to think on their feet. They will move swiftly towards a solution and be able to handle anything that is thrown at them. In the workplace this makes them natural leaders and independent trailblazers.

4 – They are creative problem solvers

The people that can use their initiative, thinking independently and logically to find solutions to problems are invaluable in the workplace. High performers think outside the box to solve every issue, going above and beyond to help themselves and help others.

5 – They are ambitious

High performers will always have lots of plates spinning. This is because they are constantly inspired and love to over-deliver in everything they do. In previous roles they will have been very results and feedback driven because they love seeing themselves improve.

How to identify high performer candidates

It’s really tough to spot the high performers amongst those with a fantastic CV – this is why the interview stage is crucial for identifying your top candidates. There are certain questions you can ask to put them on the spot and really test their skills.

By asking open-ended questions that target their soft-skills, you will force people to reveal more of who they truly are.

1 – Tell me about a company that you admire.

This prompt will invite a really wide range of answers, but high performers will be able to explain why they admire a certain company by talking about the industry as a whole. This shows that they can look at the big picture and critically think about brands.

2 – Can you tell me about a time that you worked with a difficult team?

Team work and independence are necessary in every role. When candidates are telling you about a difficult team they worked with, they are telling you about their working style. The high performers will demonstrate their problem solving expertise alongside empathy, resilience and dedication.

3 – What skills do you want to develop over the next few years?

This question is the opposite of the typical ‘biggest weakness’ interviewer favourite and it invites just as much critical thinking from the candidate. A good, honest answer will reveal their dedication and ambition.

4 – Tell me about a struggle you’ve had in your education or career so far, how did you overcome it?

There is no perfect response to this one. You are looking for the humble answers that demonstrate self-awareness, ownership and creative problem solving skills. The struggle does not have to have been huge – as long as the candidate demonstrates that they take ownership of problems in a productive way, they are probably a high performer.

We hope these interview questions will help you identify high performer candidates. Once you’ve completed your interviews, check out our How to give constructive interview feedback post for more guidance.

Sometimes you won’t find any high performers among your candidates. That’s where we come in. DigitalGrads is a unique recruitment platform that does all the hiring dirty work for you. We post job adverts, curate shortlists and arrange interviews. We know that with us you will find more high performers than you know what to do with, so sign up today and improve your workforce.

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
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