Torn between two quality candidates? It’s not as easy (or enviable) as it might sound!

While it might sound like quite a nice problem to have, trying to decide between two equally qualified, high quality candidates can actually be quite a stressful position to be in. The thought of making the wrong hiring decision can be almost paralyzing!

However, the last thing you want to do is delay the process by procrastinating and risk losing a candidate, you also don’t want to get caught in the trap of hiring the best interviewee and not necessarily the best person for the job.

Here are our tips on making that critical hiring decision:

  1. Review the reference checks

While the technical skills of each candidate might be on par, did any of their referees indicate any potential issues in terms of cultural fit, work ethic, reliability or team fit? Now’s the time to explore these and ensure that each candidate will be a good fit both in terms of skill set and culture.

  1. Do the ‘coffee test’

You’ve met with each candidate in a formal interview setting and both passed with flying colours. It’s a good sign, but we all know some people are just naturally better in interviews than others, so a great way to get to know a potential employee is to meet them for a coffee in a more relaxed, neutral setting.

Are they someone you can converse with easily? Were they able to build rapport quickly? (Particularly critical if they’re being considered for a sales or customer service role). Most importantly, are they someone you can picture yourself working with day in/day out?  I can guarantee you if you don’t ‘click’ in those initial meetings, it’s unlikely to happen over time.

  1. Enthusiasm

You would hope that someone who’s interviewing for a role would show a genuine interest in the position and a level of enthusiasm, but you’d be surprised! In my experience, whenever I’ve had a candidate withdraw from a role or turn down a job offer, when I’ve looked back over the process the warning signs have been there – I’ve either had to keep following them up or sometimes it was just a feeling that they weren’t fully engaged in the process.

Someone who follows up from their interview and asks quality, well thought-out questions are all good indicators that the person is committed to the process and is genuinely interested in your job opportunity.

  1. Wheel in the Psychometric tests!

Love them or hate them, I genuinely believe there’s a place for psychometric tests when they’re used in the right way and are assessed and interpreted by an expert. They can be particularly helpful in confirming any concerns you may have already flagged from your interactions with a candidate and can also be a great tool to assess a person’s cultural/team fit.


Having two great candidates for a role is a good problem to have, but only if you take the time to fully assess each person – and getting it right can be tricky business!

Thanks for reading!