How do you know you can trust the candidate without meeting them in person?


This  is  the  first  in  a  three  part  series  of  blogs  written  as  a  tool  for  you  to  use  during  this  pandemic  and  beyond.  This  tool  will  help  you  identify  trustworthy candidates  that  you  are  unable  to  meet  in person. The purpose  is  to  reduce  your  anxiety  about  making  a good  choice.  While  there  are  no  perfect  candidates there  are  plenty  of  strong  honest  performers.


Lets first examine what trust is and isn’t. Trust is an attribute, a feeling, and is essential to all successful relationships. Think back to a time when someone  you  know  violated  your trust,  and  how  hard  it  was  for  you  to  trust  them  again,  if  at  all. Trust  is defined by Websters as the “Firm belief in the reliability, trust, ability or strength of someone or something.”  Trust  is  also  considered  an  emotional state, and not solely an expectation of someone’s capability.  Trust  is  an  intangible  asset  and  the  glue  of lasting  relationships.  Likely  the  most  difficult  truth  about  trust  is  that  it  is  an  abstract  mental  attitude toward  a  proposition  that  someone  is  dependable  ( a perception  which is hard to control or manage).  So  if  trust  is  nebulous  and  a  bit  ethereal  in  substance,  how can  you  know  and  measure  trust  in  someone  you  do not  know  and  have  only  experienced  via  video chat  or by  phone?


It  is  critical  to  your  company’s  success  that  you  bring in  people  who  are  trustworthy  and  can  work  well  with others. This  will ensure  the  highest  levels  of productivity and  success  for  you.  After  all,  you  cannot  get  as  far as  you  want  without  great  people  on  the  team.


Behavioral  interviewing  is  commonly  applied  to  address trust  in  a  candidate  –  but  what  happens  when  you  are  not  in  the  same  room  and  are  unable  to  read  the silent  cues?  What  you  are  looking  for  in  a  candidate is  the  assurance  that  the  candidate  can  and  will  do what  they  promise.  Here  is  a  list  of  questions  to explore  that  can  help  you  assess  the  trustworthiness of  a  candidate.  It  is  very  important  to  verify  their responses.  One  way  is  to  verify  their  answers  with their references if the candidate has indeed met or exceeded  expectations  and  goals  in  past  roles.


  • Has the candidate met or exceeded expectations and goals  in  past  roles?
  • Does  the  candidate  have  a  history  of  following  through  on  verbal  and  written  commitments?
  • Do you feel good about this person as a person?
  • Why do you feel good about this person?
  • Does this person have a history of creating strong positive  relationship?
  • Is  the  candidate  paying  attention  to  what  you  are asking, are they comprehending, are they asking clarifying questions  or  repeating  your  question  to  make  sure they  understand?
  • Is the candidate paying attention to what is important to you  and  what  you  want  to  accomplish?
As  you  can  see  you  are  looking  for  depth  of  character  and  ability  to  deliver  on  what  you  need  to have  accomplished,  work  well  within  your  team,  and express solid communication skills. Listening and clarifying are  very  important  to  show  you  that  they  have  the desire  to  deliver,  and  are  likely  to  be  trustworthy.


A good recruiter can help you through this process, and knows many candidates through the years, and can leverage their network to find you the right people, who you can trust.