3 Red Flags to Spot When Interviewing Job Candidates

3 Red Flags to Spot When Interviewing Job Candidates

Interviewing job candidates is a critical part of being a recruiter or hiring manager. Interview someone correctly, and you can get a good idea of the person’s expertise, compatibility with the business, work ethic and much more. On the other hand, red flags may go unnoticed with an inexperienced interviewer. Look out for the following three problem areas.

1. Inability to be Specific

Specificity is huge in job interviews. Numbers, project examples, accomplishments and achievements all serve to build a comprehensive picture of a job candidate. If what you get is vagueness, proceed with caution. The candidate may have poor communication skills or could be lying about his or her background. Either way, you can find someone better.

2. Talking Negatively about Colleagues

Another behavior that should give you pause is when candidates bad-mouth others (i.e. “I had to quit my last job because my boss made me do all of his work”). Such statements may well be true to an extent, but this is one area in which truth is subjective. You want employees who take responsibility for themselves and who get along with others. A comment along the lines of, “I left my previous job because the job description changed, and I felt more suited to the work I would do here,” is fairer.

3. Passing on Questions

Interviewing job candidates tends to entail asking if they have questions. A “no” answer is a bad sign for several reasons. It may show that the candidate did little or no research on your business and has no foundation from which to ask questions. It may also indicate that the applicant is not invested in the interview. A third possibility is that the candidate simply is not a curious person, usually not a good thing. All that said, another red flag is when candidates ask questions they could have found the answers to with simple research (i.e. “Does your business give back to the community?” when your community involvement is prominently displayed throughout your website).