Every time a company hires a new candidate for a job, it takes a risk. As such, identifying red flags during interviews has become crucial. You can’t get a full understanding of your candidate’s attitude toward work, as well as their work style, and personality from a brief meeting and a few documents. Typically, candidates put their best face forward during an interview. Moreover, they say what they think the interviewer wants to hear.
In this article, we share some tips on uncovering some important red flags early on. Disclaimer: short of a background check, there’s no way to know for sure that the candidate is right for the job. A background check service such as Check People can reveal patchy employment history or other negative findings, which may raise questions regarding your candidate’s qualifications. Alternatively, it can also confirm the information they provided, putting your mind at ease.
Suspicious Employment History
Someone’s behavior is also the best predictor of their future behavior, especially for people who fail to learn from their mistakes. As an employer, you should ask your candidates why they left or are considering leaving their current job. In addition, you can ask them to cite specific work examples. Finally, they should be able to use examples to answer behavioral and technical interview questions or at least have a working answer for some of them.
Numerous career path changes indicate that your candidate may still be looking for their true calling. While they may have the right to explore alternative areas, you probably would not want them to be doing so at your expense.
Be wary of their pattern of leaving jobs due to arguments. People who have a history of quitting jobs because they disagree with supervisors or company policies are prone to carrying this behavior into every workplace.
Outdated or Missing Contact Information
Updating their email or number may have slipped their mind, but it can also imply a lack of technical know-how or poor communication skills.
Demands Up Front
You can’t expect a candidate to agree to each and every one of your terms. This is a red flag in itself. The other extreme – excessive demands from the get-go – is just as bad. Requests such as leave, paid parking, and a specific schedule, as well as other demands during the first interview are typically a bad sign.
Gossiping About Previous Employers or Coworkers
Complaining or gossiping about previous coworkers or managers during the interview is also not a good sign. This behavior indicates that one day, this candidate may behave this way towards you. Although we can’t expect candidates to love all of their former employers, complaining and gossiping about them show a lack of professionalism.
Poor Listening Skills
A candidate who seems lost during the interview, asks repetitive questions, or gives irrelevant answers to your questions might not respect your time or even have a real interest in the job. Furthermore, not asking any questions is also a red flag.
This is why most interviewers ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” at the end of the interview. The candidate is expected to ask some relevant and practical questions. However, there are those who will just sit in silence or respond with a flat ‘No.’ This may indicate that they lack a general understanding of the job they’re applying for, or are unwilling to take on new responsibilities.
Mistakes on the Resume
Mistakes in the candidate’s email correspondence, resume, and/or in their cover letter might mean they rush things and lack attention to detail. Arriving unprepared can mean that as well. If they have already emailed you their application documents or uploaded them to your company’s website, they might come to the interview without hard copies. While this isn’t a red flag per se, it may indicate a lack of understanding of basic facts about the interview process, such as that there are other candidates for the job too.
No Factual Support for Statements
If a candidate can’t or won’t answer a direct question or can’t back up a fact on their resume, they might have exaggerated their skills to look more qualified. Moreover, they might have something else to hide. Moreover, the candidate rambling or talking too much signals they’re not apt at organizing their thoughts. People who brag or talk about themselves too much rarely work well in a team.