Red flags to always watch out for in a job interview

It’s easy to pick up on insecurities and flaws that people display during a job interview.

However, not all of the flaws you see in an interview are equally noteworthy. You most definitely need to “weigh them” differently. There are some deficiencies you can brush off as “not a big deal”. Others, however, will represent a clear sign that you should be wary of giving this applicant a chance. Knowing what signs to look for will give you a broader and clearer picture about the candidate you’re interviewing.

Read on to find out the interview red flags you should watch out for when interviewing a job candidate.

Lack of research about your company’s accomplishments

When someone applies for a job, you would expect that person to be prepared and have researched the company. If the candidate fails to properly answer questions about your company and its portfolio, you’re dealing with a slacker.

Some candidates are not aware of the quality of your products and services and aren’t familiar with the market position of your company.

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a job interview

What this should signal to you is that they will not go the length when you ask them to do research as part of their job. Think about it, an interview should be the one time when they try their hardest to impress you. If they didn’t bother to research your company now, do you think they will bother to properly research your competitors after you hire them or give them a cushy contract?

There are ways in which these candidates can try to circumvent the proper answer to this question, though. They may try to wax-poetic about the successes of your company and its popularity in the business world. Don’t let the flattery misguide you. Focus on digging for specifics.

Even if they give a good answer, keep digging. Sometimes if you dig deeper and you’ll find that underneath the surface, there’s little else you’ll get from this candidate. Initial responses may just be a well-prepared script, with no substance behind it. Always have a follow-up question and see if the brilliant response to the previous question was just a fancy cover.

respect other people’s time

They are too eager to learn about the salary perks

Being curious about salary is not necessarily a bad thing. But, when candidates are too eager to know about the size of their salary and how quickly they can expect a raise, it signals they’re only in it for the money.

You want to hire people that respec what your company stands for. If they only care about the financial perks, this is a clear sign they won’t be able to take ownership when the going gets tough.

The candidate is late for the job interview

A person who doesn’t respect other people’s time should not receive any respect from you. When the candidate is late for a job interview, he or she demonstrates a host of negative personality traits that can and will affect your company.

For starters, it’s quite possible that this person will not finish obligations on time, and will slack off when doing the necessary work. Companies suffer greatly because of these kinds of employees, the ones who cherish their own comfort above all, and do not care about authority or being on time.

So, if a candidate is late for their job interview, do yourself (and your company) a favor, strike their name off the list.

annoying issue that can happen during a job interview

The candidate criticizes former colleagues

Badmouthing former colleagues or former bosses can give the impression that the candidate will do the same with future employers, i.e. your own company.

And that is only the beginning of the problems you may face with this type of person. This person won’t care about the opinions of his or her supervisors, or colleagues. That hinders the quality of the team’s work and eventually, the company itself.

But, this also conveys that the candidate lacks the sincerity and gratitude to be in a position to work at a successful company. They simply take the employment opportunity for granted.

Lack of leadership qualities

The candidate is rude during the interview

This is the most obvious and annoying issue that can happen during a job interview. Job candidates may sometimes check their phone during the interview, look distracted in general, or interrupt the interview.

These are all signs of flat-out disrespect to anyone’s words apart from their own, as well as a sign of their non-existent listening skills. Being assertive is one thing, but being aggressive and thuggish during a job interview conveys all the wrong things.

You do not want an interviewee that’s too submissive and eager, one that looks like their life depends on getting this job. But the other extreme is just as bad. You don’t want someone who acts too indifferent and like they couldn’t care less if they get the job or not. Both neediness and indifference are bad signs that you should heed.

Lack of leadership qualities

It doesn’t matter what job position you’re looking to fill. Every employee should show the potential to become a leader one day. Even if it’s just managing his or her immediate coworkers. So you want to make sure that each person you hire has the basis to grow into a future leader.

On occasions, the candidate can be dismissive to junior colleagues or lower rank colleagues. Apart from being impolite, this shows a lack of leadership skills that are required in every employee, from the lowest to the highest ranks.

When you are considering a candidate for a job position, you look at what he/she can bring to the table leadership-wise. Are the candidates able to garner the respect from colleagues? Do they offer the same respect to others?

You can have a glimpse of these characteristics during the interview process, but also through investigating why the candidate left the previous place of employment.

Also, ask the candidate how he or she handled a difficult situation or a crisis at the previous company and what they did to overcome it.

Do they handle criticism in a non-confrontational manner? Are they going too far when they are the one giving the criticism? Have they taken responsibility for a situation gone bad or they are blaming others for their failures?

Lastly, take a look at the references that the candidate provides. Are they written by the previous employer in good faith or do you recognize one of the many generic templates used by many job candidates nowadays?

Being wary of these things can help you be on the lookout during the interview. Sometimes, an interviewer may ignore some of these flaws if the interviewee has an impressive CV.

The candidate is not dressed for the occasion

The candidate is not dressed for the occasion

Sure, the way candidates dress should not be a make or break factor. But, first impressions are quite important, you already know that. So, imagine if a candidate appears at the interview with stained clothes and it is clearly visible to the eye. Or they smell like they haven’t showered in weeks.

Dressing for the occasion signals that the candidate takes the interview seriously. It tells you that the candidate is able to look the part and took the time to look professional and tidy during the interview. You can be confident that these traits will spill-over to their work ethic.

If you can’t stand sitting next to this person for more than 5 minutes during an interview, why would you want everyone at the company to spend 40 hours a week next to him or her?

Getting the right candidates is easier with our help

If you want to attract top talent in your field, the experts at NOOR can do just that for you. We will work aggressively and with tenacity to bring you the right talent.

We’ll do the vetting for you. You’ll just need to do your best to test the world-class talent we send your way. If you want more information, simply contact us here.

And if you’re reading this because you’re looking for a job, first of all, congratulations on doing your research. It is important to understand the job interview process from the perspective of the employer. If you need help getting those job interviews, feel free to submit your resume here. We’d love to add you to our talent pool.