Red Flags You Should Look For When Interviewing A Candidate


Naturally, all candidates would want to put their best foot forward during interviews, even if it means withholding some information or stretching the truth. The mask that interviewees wear makes it daunting for hiring managers to gauge every candidate’s potential and fit during an interview. Noting that you are exposing your company to risks when filling an open position, you should be keen on the following red flags when conducting interviews.

  1. Lack of Passion or Interest for the Role

Hiring is an opportunity to bring people who are excited about the position and the ability to work with your company specifically.  However, this goal is not easily accomplished by many companies,  considering that a recent study concluded that hiring managers would reject 39% of their previous hires. There are many ways to test the candidate’s interest in the vacant position. For instance, when recruiting for a B2C role, passionate candidates should have at least purchased and tried your products before.

Similarly, an interested candidate should have gone through a few company blogs and spent time reading the history of the company and the responsibilities assigned to the vacant docket. You can test this by asking basic questions about the company during the interview.

  1. Bragging About Other Offers

Arrogance during a job interview is not much of an attractive quality. Candidates who brag about other offers is a clear indicator that they might not be fully committed to your position and your company goals. This is a reason to worry since employee motivation to work directly impacts the productivity and growth of the company. Even if the candidate succeeds in the interview and joins your company, you should be worried about retention.

Candidates who brag about offers are always on the lookout for greener pastures. However, note that mentioning the offer is not always a cause for red flags. Mentioning offers during the last stages of an interview is an acceptable practice for transparent candidates.

  1. No Personal Weakness

You should be wary if the job candidate doesn’t articulate any personal weakness. In a bid to appear perfect, some candidates disingenuously don’t acknowledge that they have weak attributes or reframe a weakness as a strength. Unfortunately, candidates who aren’t in touch with their flaws often blame others when things go wrong. Such people make poor cultural fits because a strong working team should leverage each other's strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Rudeness

Rudeness is a simple red flag to spot during an interview. It can be disguised in the form of sloppiness and tardiness, swearing, or appearing unprepared for the interview. If the candidate demonstrated any signs of unprofessionalism, fundamental flaws in character could be exposed later when the stakes are much higher for you and your company.  So to say, it takes only 7 seconds for the brain to make a judgment upon seeing someone.

Being late for the interview without notice is also a sign of tardiness and a danger sign. Swearing is an obvious red flag but just showing less professional communication attributes should be an indicator of potentially more issues and exposure for your company in the future. 

Identifying red flags is vital to minimize the risks of making bad hires. Apart from the signs, you should also watch out for candidates with no or poor references, with suspicious work history or inconsistent career path and doesn’t maintain eye contact during the interview. And finally, you should leverage your gut instincts when deciding if someone is the right fit for the role.

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