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- Isabel Verhelst

Are you a good candidate or are you a great one?

Ben je een goede of geweldige kandidaat?


Last week, I got stood up. The candidate I was supposed to meet was a ‘no show’. Imagine me sitting there, in the hotel lobby, trying to figure out if any of the other people could be my lost candidate…I called her, texted her, checked my e-mail to verify whether I had the date right…30 minutes later still no one to be seen.

As I was driving back (trust me, I was in a superb mood), it got me thinking how people can forget that events like this have an impact that reaches beyond current time.


​Being an excellent candidate is a combination of little things. Things that are not necessarily related to the technical aspects of the job but little events that distinguish a good candidate from a great one.

Finding the right candidate is a search that does not begin nor end with the face2face interview. Every contact provides me with little bits of information on who you are and what you value.

It goes from the time it takes to schedule an interview to the way someone reacts to an offer. Even then it can happen that I start having doubts about the right fit.

I always love it when a candidate calls me after a client interview to tell me how it went. It shows drive, passion and a genuine interest.

It always surprises me when people start bitching about their current employer. Although the bad relationship with your boss may be the driving factor for searching another opportunity, it makes a better impression to give it a positive twist.

Finding the right candidate is about investigating which person is the one with the best fit in the team, with the right mentality and with the necessary toolbox to become successful. Identifying if you are that person goes beyond what you are saying during a one-hour discussion.

Before I scare everybody off…not every word that you say is evaluated against the perfect profile. But the whole process is about getting to know you better, not only for that specific opportunity but also for future possibilities.

The latter seems to be something people too often forget. Getting into contact with a headhunter is not a one off thing. It is through the little things that I can detect whether you are a good candidate or a great one.

My lost candidate apologized the day after. I appreciated that but I might hesitate to contact her again for future opportunities.

And you…are you a good one…or are you a great one?

I look forward to hearing from you,



For A-Lissome


About the author

Ingenium Executive Search is a boutique search agency. Isabel Verhelst founded it in 2011 out of a passion for people and a talent to match the right candidate with the right company.

With HR and business experience of over 20 years, Isabel combines HR experience with a deep business insight to achieve high-class results and to create a positive working environment with HR, hiring managers and candidates. You can follow her on her blog to discover her thoughts and reflections on headhunting and executive search.

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