How to Choose Between Two Exceptional Candidates

You've conducted exhaustive interviews, meticulously checked references, and administered comprehensive pre-employment screenings. Your effort has led you to an enviable yet challenging position: selecting between two outstanding candidates. While this is indeed a desirable dilemma, it's essential to approach this decision with careful consideration and a strategic mindset. Here, we present strategies to help you navigate this unique situation and make an informed choice that aligns with your organisation's goals.

Revisit Your Original Vision

In the initial stages of the hiring process, you set forth a job description and outlined the role's requirements. However, during the interview process, priorities might have shifted, and the candidates might differ from your original vision. Revisiting the initial job posting can provide clarity on the core goals you intended to achieve by filling the position. Consider how each candidate contributes to these goals and whether one aligns more closely with your original intentions.

 Long-Term Vision

While both candidates may excel in their current roles, it's crucial to evaluate their potential for long-term contributions. During interviews, inquire about their aspirations within the company and their professional journey. Which candidate's goals resonate more with the long-term role you envision? Assessing alignment between their aspirations and the role's trajectory can provide insights into who will have a more lasting impact on your organisation.

Cultural Compatibility Through Experience

Identifying cultural fit can be challenging, but examining a candidate's previous employers can offer valuable insights. Investigate whether their work history includes large corporations or smaller businesses. While this alone won't determine compatibility, patterns in their choices can reveal their comfort zones and potential for success in a new environment. If their past experiences align with your organisation's culture, it may indicate a stronger fit.

Level of Interest and Enthusiasm

In the current competitive job market, it's essential to gauge each candidate's interest in the position. An enthusiastic candidate is more likely to excel and remain committed. Reflect on their behaviour during the interview process—did one candidate display more eagerness? Consider the questions they asked and the extent of their follow-up communication. Additionally, factor in practicalities such as salary and benefits, as these could influence their willingness to join your team.

Listen to Your Intuition

While rational assessment is vital, sometimes your gut feeling can offer valuable insights. If both candidates are equally qualified and have passed thorough evaluations, your intuition might help you identify subtle differences that align with your organisation's values and dynamics. However, exercise caution to ensure your intuition isn't influenced by biases or personal preferences.

Remember Your Satisfaction

Recall that both candidates are exceptional and would significantly contribute to your organisation. Don't lose sight of the fact that you would be content with either choice. Overthinking the decision could lead to missed opportunities. Trust the due diligence you've put into the process and make a decision that moves your organisation forward.

Exploring Unconventional Approaches

In some cases, an unconventional decision might be the most impactful. Consider hiring both candidates, especially if they possess complementary strengths or the position's demands warrant a larger team. While this might not be feasible for all roles, the benefits of increased expertise and preventing competitors from hiring your second-choice candidate can be worth considering.

Leverage Expertise

The gravity of a hiring decision cannot be understated. It influences productivity, customer satisfaction, and team morale. When facing such pivotal choices, consider seeking guidance from seasoned staffing professionals. Their expertise can provide a fresh perspective, helping you make the best decision for your organisation's future.


In conclusion, selecting between two exceptional candidates is both a privilege and a challenge. By revisiting your initial vision, considering long-term alignment, assessing cultural compatibility, evaluating enthusiasm, trusting your intuition, and remembering your satisfaction, you can confidently make an informed decision. Whether you choose one candidate or explore unconventional approaches, prioritise what aligns with your organisation's mission and values. And if in doubt, don't hesitate to seek the guidance of staffing experts who can provide valuable insights to ensure you make the right call for your team's success.

Posted by: Optima Recruitment 0 comment(s)

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