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5 Red Flags to Look for When Interviewing Candidates: How to Avoid a Costly Hiring Mistake

5 Red Flags to Look for When Interviewing Candidates: How to Avoid a Costly Hiring Mistake

22 days ago by

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​Introduction

Picture the scene. You're in charge of hiring for a new position at your company. The job opening has been posted for several weeks, and you've finally narrowed it down to two qualified candidates.

After careful consideration, you decide to hire Candidate A. But soon after they start, it quickly becomes apparent that they're not a good fit for the job.

They're constantly missing deadlines, can't seem to get along with co-workers, and are generally making a mess of things. You end up having to let them go, and the whole process starts all over again.

This scenario is all too common, and it highlights the dangers of hiring the wrong person for a job. Not only does it cost time and money to train someone who's not a good fit, but it can also create tension and frustration among the rest of your team.

So, the next time you're hiring for a position, remember our five red flags to watch out for during the interview process.

Availability for Interview

Making time for an interview can be challenging for many candidates, particularly if they're already in a full-time role and based on-site. However, with the popularity of video conferencing software, there aren't many reasons for not being able to attend an interview.

But for an interviewer, when a job applicant keeps trying to reschedule their interview, it can be difficult to know what to make of their behaviour. On the one hand, they might simply be busy or have other commitments that prevent them from making it on the day and time of the original appointment. But, at the same time, there might be something more going on behind the scenes. Perhaps they are not genuinely interested in the position and are simply using excuses as a way to wriggle out of attending.

As a job interviewer, it is essential to pay close attention to any potential red flags that a candidate's repeated attempts to reschedule their interview might signal.

For example, do they seem disorganised or provide plausible explanations for why they need to change the date? Are their requests coming via email or phone calls? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, do you get a sense that this candidate seems motivated and excited about this potential opportunity or do they come across as apathetic or disinterested?

While trying to read between the lines and get an accurate picture of a candidate's true intentions can often be challenging, paying attention to these subtle cues can provide valuable insights into a person's character.

If you still have doubts about a candidate's motivation or interest level after considering all of these factors, it might be best to move on to someone else.

Lack of Research

One of the most important questions an interviewer can ask a job candidate is how much they know about the company. This question serves several purposes.

First, it can help to gauge a candidate's interest in the position. If they have done their research and are familiar with the company's history and mission, it shows that they are genuinely interested in joining the team.

Second, it can help to assess a candidate's attention to detail. For example, if a candidate knows about the company's recent successes or challenges, it shows that they are paying attention to the industry and have taken the time to learn about the organisation.

Finally, this question can help to identify candidates who are genuinely passionate about their work. If a candidate is excited about the company and its mission, it will come through in their answers.

Asking a candidate how much they know about the company is crucial to identify those who are truly invested in joining the team. So, make sure to ask it early on in the interview process.

Surface-Level Answers to Questions

When interviewing a candidate for a position, an interviewer should look for any red flags that signal dishonest or unprofessional behaviour. One common sign of a poor fit is when a candidate gives surface-level responses to interview questions. These answers typically lack depth or detail and may even contain vague or awkward language.

In addition, they often indicate that the candidate is not taking the interview process seriously or is simply trying to get through it as quickly as possible. Such behaviour can be cause for concern, as it suggests that the candidate will most likely put forth lacklustre effort on the job as well.

Therefore, when interviewing a candidate who gives surface-level answers, an interviewer should critically consider whether this person would really be a good fit for the position. After all, providing thoughtful answers in an interview demonstrates essential skills such as critical thinking and communication, which will make a candidate stand out from the crowd and contribute positively to any workplace environment.

However, remember that interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people. A candidate who seems to be giving surface-level answers may be simply nervous and not used to being in an interview setting.

In such cases, it might be helpful to give the person the benefit of the doubt and ask follow-up questions to encourage them to elaborate on their answers. You may just uncover a hidden gem of a candidate who simply needs a little extra encouragement to shine.

Badmouthing Previous Employers

When a candidate badmouths their previous or current employer during an interview, it's a big red flag because it shows that the person is:

1) Not able to see both sides of the story

2) Not able to handle difficult situations or people

3) Not very mature

In other words, if a candidate can't see the good in their previous or current employer, they're probably not going to be able to see the good in your company either.

So, while it's important to be able to evaluate candidates on their qualifications and experience, it's also essential to pay attention to how they speak about their past employers. If they're constantly putting other people down, it's a good indication that they'll do the same to you.

No End of Interview Questions

So, the job interview is coming to an end. The candidate has given you their best answers to questions about their qualifications, work experience and goals. And then, you ask the all-important question, "Do you have any questions for me?". The candidate pauses for a moment before saying, "No, I think you've covered everything." On the surface, it may seem like the candidate is prepared and confident. But in reality, their lack of questions could be a red flag.

Here are some things that a job interviewer could deduce from a candidate who doesn't have any questions at the end of the interview:

1) The candidate may not have done their research. A good candidate will have prepared questions in advance, based on their research about the company and the role.

2) The candidate may be uninterested in the role. If the candidate doesn't ask any questions, it could be because they're not really interested in the job.

3) The candidate may be uncomfortable with confrontation. Some candidates may avoid asking questions because they don't want to appear confrontational. However, this can make it difficult to gauge their true opinions or views on important issues.

In short, a lack of questions at the end of an interview can be a red flag for employers. Therefore, it's important to pay attention to whether the candidate has prepared questions in advance, as this can indicate their level of interest and commitment.

Summary

While there are many obvious red flags to look out for during the interview process, sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling. If something feels off about a candidate, trust your instincts and move on to the next one.

There's no need to force yourself to hire someone if you have a bad feeling about them. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Kensington Additive are specialist recruiters for the Additive Manufacturing industry in the UK, EU, and the US.