Inherent traits you must look for in candidates for the right level of hire

Here are some of the biggest to look out for in your candidates to ensure you find the right level of hire.

Every job opening requires a certain mindset and a unique set of skills or characteristics in the candidate that is exclusive to the position and the company as well. The mindset needed for the job of a programmer will not be the same as a business development representative or a CEO.

However, the psyche or mindset predictors are common across various roles and industries. Here are some of the biggest to look out for in your candidates to ensure you find the right level of hire.

Traits that predict the mindsets of candidates

If you’re looking to hire a new individual, regardless of experience level or industry, keep your eye out for the following six indicators of high performance.

Cognitive Ability

Cognitive ability is defined as a general mental capability involving reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, complex idea comprehension, organizing, planning, and learning from experience.

Understanding the cognitive skills of an employee is necessary regardless of the job role or the industry. It is the base of predicting how well and quickly can he or she catch up with the training, interpret injunctions, solve, and communicate issues daily.

Knowing a candidate’s cognitive ability is essential for jobs at every level in all kinds of industries. It can predict how well a candidate will pick up on the training materials, how they will interpret injunctions, how efficiently they’ll be able to solve problems throughout the workday, and how easily communication will come to them.

There are several free online tests available to check the cognitive skills, but you may want to consider a more in-depth inspection.


A dependable and trustworthy candidate will care about doing things the right way and will always strive to give their best work in the first go. They will put extra efforts and ensure that they meet deadlines, plan, and act responsibly.

You can try using personality tests that evaluates different personality factors, including honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

The Growth Mindset

Some people can pick up things and learn better than others. Candidates with a growth mindset are always looking for opportunities to learn new skills and make genuine efforts to grow both personally and professionally and advance their career.

Employees with thriving personalities believe that they can develop themselves through hard work and embracing feedback. They’re interested in their advancing their career by taking initiatives and take up challenges that can make them stronger in their positions and more qualified for a higher role.

During an interview, you can ask questions and probe about their past performance to get a better idea of their mindset. One of the best questions to ask would about their past failures and look out for the answer that describes the lessons learned from it. Other predictors might include what the candidate does outside of their current position, such as volunteer work or side hustles, or additional certifications and more.

Active Learning A.K.A Street Smart

Active learning is a type of skills that keeps a person involved more than just listening. They actively absorb knowledge from anywhere and everywhere and apply the learning in real-life scenarios. In fact, as per the WEF, active learning is one of the most coveted and top innovation skills of the future.

Street smart candidates will be more successful at their jobs as will be able to retrain or learn new processes and systems with ease. This enables them to stay abreast with the latest trends and changing technological landscapes and business needs.

Like the growth mindset, you can measure a person’s street smartness with probing interview questions. You can ask questions about their past projects, what they learned from it, and how they used that knowledge in future tasks and experience.


Jobs are sometimes unpredictable, and anything can pop up at any time. Some of these issues can be something that the candidates might have never dealt before, what are they going to do then? The ability to creatively solve complex problems is not a natural skill to come by and immediately makes the candidate more efficient for the positions.

The talent of thinking out of the box and beyond what has been told immediately boosts the candidate’s confidence in resolving issues to get tasks done and increase productivity.

Even you can get creative to test the candidate’s problem-solving skills. How about sample scenario assessment and throw them a curve ball by asking them to respond to a problem that they are not trained for and measure how they approach the challenge.


Each role you’re hiring for will have a unique mindset and set skills that are exclusive to that role. Use your list as a benchmark for future hires. While your candidate doesn’t need to have each characteristic on your list, this can surely decrease your risk of making bad hires.

Understanding the mindset, you need for what role will help you pick out the right talent, However, reading a mindset of a person is tricky, and even with all the training you sometimes don’t get it right. AI like the MindMatch Algorithm can help you not only read the mindset of the applicant but identify closely if they are the right fit for the job. They provide the star rating to the candidates based on their mindset, culture fit, and professional as well as inherent skills against JD.


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