1. Energy, Drive, Initiative
Don't ever compromise on this one, it's the universal trait of success. Get examples of initiative and extra effort. Don't assume that an extroverted personality means lots of energy - have the candidate prove it with lots of examples including specific dates, facts and quantities.
2. Trend Of Performance Over Time
By asking the right questions - you get detailed examples of a candidates major accomplishments. From this, it's easy to see how the candidate has grown and impacted the organisation
Can the candidate describe S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measureable, Action-Orientated, Result, Time-Based) achievements. How do they compare to the required objectives?
4. Problem Solving & Thinking Skills
A strong candidate needs to understand the work, solve job-related problems and anticipate what needs to be done. Collecting and processing information to make appropriate decisions is important, so is the ability to apply previous knowledge to solving new problems.
5. Technical Competency
Hiring managers (or potential peers) are often the best people to do this. They need to understand the candidate's proven ability with specific technical competencies idenfified as critical to the role.
6. Organisational Skills
If project management and organisational aspects of the job are important, ensure you assess the candidates organisational skills
The magic here is candidates who can lead people in the same direction, to achieve consistant results which exceed their own expectations. Again, look for specific examples where the candidate can demonstrate (SMART) examples of successful leadership.
8. Personality & Cultural Fit
A technically strong accountant, engineer or production manager who is not a fit ti your organisation culture will damage, not add value. You might consider personality profiling to assist you at this stage.