Spot 5 red flags in candidates during interviews

December 7, 2023 Employer Insights,Recruiter Insights Article Written By: admin
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Every hiring manager’s ultimate goal is to hire fast and hire right. This ideal situation may not happen all the time. In reality, the recruitment process can be lengthy and complicated. 

When you post a job advertisement, you would expect a few high-quality candidates to apply for the role and eventually select the best one and close the role. However, the truth is that you need more than just an advertisement to attract, qualify and evaluate a good-quality candidate.

A well-written professional CV doesn’t guarantee the right hire. You need to learn how to evaluate candidates during an interview – beyond what they claim themselves to be on paper.

Learning how to spot red flags in candidates can help to minimise your risk of hiring the wrong ones.

Let’s dive into these 5 red flags so you can be watchful when you interview candidates.


1. Discrepancies in their answers and CV

Look out for any discrepancies in what they say versus what they put in their CV. Candidates can have an amazing CV but if they are unable to provide details during the interview, this can be a red flag. 

For example, stating, ‘’I achieved my sales target but I forgot my number.’’

Don’t take surface-value answers, be sure to clarify with the candidate. 


 

2. Going off topic when they try to answer your questions

Candidates who love storytelling may have the tendency to overly share details that are not related to what they do. As an interviewer, it is okay to stop them and politely mention that they are not telling you the important points. 

Pay attention if this happens multiple times even after you have mentioned that to the candidate. 

If candidates are unable to provide a concrete answer when asked about their specific work experience, it could mean one thing – their involvement in the work is minimal or insignificant.


 

3. Being demanding about what they want

Candidates with rigid expectations may indicate that their focus is on their own needs rather than what they can contribute.

For example, they may ask about certain work arrangements, expecting higher salary and better benefits at the beginning of the interview before getting to know more about the role

This becomes problematic if their expectations do not align with your company’s culture, values and policies.


 

4. Lack of interest in the role and the company

Sometimes candidates apply for a particular role in your company out of curiosity or desperation. They may not truly want to do the job or work in your company.

Candidates may appear bored or uninterested during the interview, showing a lack of research about your company and little knowledge of its operations.

You do not want to hire an unenthusiastic employee just because they tick off your job requirements. You want someone who is passionate about what they do and is willing to grow with the company.

Always clarify with them their reasons for leaving the previous companies and get to know their motivation for wanting to join your company.


 

5. Talking negatively about their previous company

In my years of working as a recruiter, I have come across many candidates who left their previous companies due to a negative factor.

Good candidates know the importance of being honest, yet they refrain from sharing the details. They keep it short and brief, enough for recruiters or hiring managers to know why they are unhappy working in that particular company.

Watch out when candidates consistently express negative remarks about their boss, team and the company as this may indicate a pattern of dissatisfaction or difficulty working with people.

When candidates give negative remarks across multiple employment experiences, it raises concerns about their adaptability and interpersonal skills in professional settings.


 

Conclusion

Remember to screen your potential candidates thoroughly during interviews, making sure that you don’t miss any potential red flags. 

Recognising red flags during interviews is crucial for every hiring manager or recruiter. These red flags may point to different issues related to the candidate’s attitude, behaviour or values. Hiring the wrong candidates can lead to potential damage to the team and the company. 

The process of hiring the right candidate can be tedious. Feel free to work in partnership with an executive search firm like PentagonPlus to help you with your hiring needs. We specialize in mid to senior-level recruitment.

At PentagonPlus, our consultants make sure to qualify candidates during interviews to ensure that they are the right fit for the job and the company.

Let us help you evaluate your candidates: https://pentagonplus.com/contact/

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