Red Flags to Look For When Conducting Job Interviews

Job interviews offer candidates a chance to convince you that they deserve a position in your organization. However, sometimes, an applicant goes in the opposite direction. Their behavior at or before an interview actually talks you out of hiring them. Should you listen to these red flags?

About a third of hiring executives make a decision in the first 90 seconds of a job interview. That’s certainly not the gold-standard procedure, to say the least. Ideally, you’ll gather all the pertinent information about a candidate and make a patient, well-reasoned assessment.

That said, there are some moments in an interview that immediately standout. A single misstep by a candidate shouldn’t completely tank their candidacy. However, you should also take these warning signs seriously, noting them when they happen and weighing them in your deliberations.

What are some of the most telling red flags? Here are a few negative signs a candidate can flash during and before a job interview:

Inconsistent Communication

You can get a sense of a candidate even before you meet them. After all, a job seeker has a very particular role: finding a job. If they don’t treat that with a level of professionalism, how will they act when they get into your organization?

As such, track how your candidates communicate. Do they get back to you quickly? Are they open and responsive? Or do you need to wade through one-word responses and tossed off emails?

Rescheduling or Other Signs of Disorganization

You want employees you can count on. As such, focus on candidates who show responsibility and a respect for other people’s time. Sure, unexpected events can happen. But a habit of rescheduling interviews or other appointments can suggest that the problem stems from a personality trait rather than bad luck.

Arriving Late or Unprepared

In the first moments of the interview, you can receive important information about your prospective employee. Don’t make your final decision in that first 90 seconds. But you can learn some key data. A top candidate will arrive on time, unhurried, and prepared for an in-depth conversation. Less-stellar options will lack that sense of poise and organization.

Again, you don’t want to pass on an otherwise perfect candidate because they had a bad day (say, a traffic accident on the way to the interview). Instead, note which candidates seemed most ready for the interview and give them the extra consideration they deserve.

Avoiding Certain Questions

You should receive straightforward answers to your interview questions. Any evasions or sidestepping should signal potential trouble. If you see a candidate dodging a particular subject, drill down on that area. Make sure you get the facts you need to make an informed hiring decision.

Lack of Enthusiasm

Any new employee will be at the peak of their excitement coming into a new role. Signs of dissatisfaction in recruiting process point to trouble down the road. No matter how talented a professional, how will they stay engaged if they can’t even show sufficient enthusiasm during a job interview?

As such, look for signs of distraction or disconnect during the conversation. Some candidates adopt a demeanor that they are doing you a favor by attending the interview. This kind of attitude should trigger a warning that they may not be the right choice for the position.

Conflicts with Former Employers

Every career has its bumps. Still, you should expect your candidates to stay philosophical, or at least professional, about any past hiccups. An applicant who bad mouths a previous employer or seems to hold grudges likely doesn’t have the emotional maturity you need.

Aggressively Focusing on Compensation or Benefits

Yes, work involves trading time, effort, and talent in exchange for money. However, any healthy relationship with an employee should go beyond this level. The connection should mean more than a paycheck.

As part of this, look out for an overly aggressive focus on the monetary part of the opportunity. A healthy interest in pay and benefits should be expected. However, your ideal candidates will round this out with other ambitions.

Ready to find amazing candidates for your open positions? A top recruiter, like PrideStaff, will connect you with the top talent available.

Contact PrideStaff today to learn more.

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