The Successful Compared To The Less Successful Candidate- What’s The Difference

I’ve been fortunate to work with some great people to help them land their next job.

Some do that quickly.

For others (especially if more senior) it can be a longer process.

Looking back what I noticed that there were some key differences between successful and less candidates.

So what were some of those differences.

The less successful Candidates

  • Struggle to get in the right frame of mind.  Often it’s their self belief, self doubt or conversation that they have with themselves that hinders them.  Not a lack of capability and experience
  • Spread the net too wide.  By that I mean they apply pretty much for anything that is remotely relevant to their experience.
  • Don’t do the practice.  Particularly ahead of the job of a job interview.  As a result they really struggle with anything that is remotely challenging in the job interview.
  • Can’t communicate their experience and value effectively. Sometimes it’s structure.  Sometimes answers are too vague.

the most successful candidates

  • Focus on what they can influence.  They know there are parts of the process that they can’t influence.  Rather than worry excessively about this they focus on what they can influence
  • Have clarity about what they want.  As a result they are much more targeted with job applications.
  • Know what they have to offer.  They have the insight into what they are particularly good at, which means they better communicate their value.
  • Prepare for a job interview like a professional.  They understand that up to 90% of their success comes down to what they do ahead of the job interview.  They recognise that hiring someone is a major investment decision.  They do all of the things they can to give them the edge.


When I’m working with clients, most realise that there is no magic formula, that there is no shortcut and that often it’s often some small but significant changes that makes the difference.