Once recruiters understand the noticeable difference a top performer brings to their bottom-line results, they take extra time to recognize one while interviewing the potential candidates. Similarly, if an HR professional accidentally onboards a low-performing candidate, it severely affects both the business and the morale of the entire team.

This is the sole reason why an interviewee’s attitude is accessed more than his/her skills. While skills can be acquired, attitude is often hard to change.

Below are a few ways in which a recruiter can differentiate between a top and bottom performer when interviewing for a position.

1. Rock or Sponge

Employees get feedback in their daily work life. However, there are only a few who can take it positively. Try and notice if the person in front of you is receptive to any feedback or not. A top performer would acknowledge the criticism and soak in the good pointers like a sponge to learn and progress further. Inversely, a bottom performer (while talented) would reject it all as a rock. Such a candidate’s growth stagnates early.

2. Self-motivation

Top performers have no problems setting their own goals and achieving them persistently. Whereas, the bottom performers always need a push from others and are happy doing only the bare minimum.

3. Focus on solutions

Top performers take full responsibility for the work delegated to them. They make it a priority to finish it on time and avoid giving excuses or blames. If they face a problem, they try to find a solution. Bottom performers always have their excuses or someone else to blame. They neither take the initiative to find a solution nor speak up to address the problem.


Remember, a top performer is the one that brings productivity, new ideas and motivation to any company they join. These employees, later on, act as role models for others and have the capability to fill the senior leadership roles later in life. Choose and nurture them well.