Three Red Flags You Shouldn’t Overlook During an Interview

Job Interview Support

Interviewing is only as perfect as the humans participating in the process. That is our way of saying that interviewing is always an imperfect process. We use behavioral interview questions, call on references, and do background checks and sometimes we still hire employees that end up not being a fit. Fortunately, we have three secret red flags that are always an indicator that the candidate ultimately won’t work out.

Three Signs Your Candidate Isn’t a Good Fit

  1. They don’t credit the team for their help. A good question to ask is something like, “In this position what factors led to your success?” The candidate should talk about their team while also taking credit for their contribution. Look for a candidate who acknowledges and affirms other people. This will signal that the candidate is a collaborator, not a lone wolf. Today, most projects require a team effort. Very few employees work in a silo. So, keep your eyes peeled for those candidates that appear to be so singularly focused on themselves that they forget to give credit to their team.
  2. They speak poorly of their former (or current) employer. Badmouthing someone—anyone—in an interview is absolutely poor form. Most candidates avoid this behavior because it remains a big no-no and has been that way for years. But don’t let your guard down here. Periodically, you’ll get a candidate that slides in a negative comment, often qualified with, “I don’t mean to speak poorly of my former employer, but…” If you can set up the interview so the candidate feels comfortable enough doing this, then kudos to you. You just got the candidate to let their guard down enough to show their true colors. The color—is a red flag.
  3. The candidate takes but doesn’t give back. Watch out for the candidate that only focuses on compensation. While that’s very important, they should ask questions about your culture and fitting in. They should ask about advancement and additional training opportunities. But they should also talk about their career goals within the context of your organizational goals. Candidates that only focus on ways to further their own careers may not be the best at playing nicely with your team. We would consider it a warning signal if they only emphasize what’s in it for them. Try to find out what motivates candidates. Do they have a passion for your corporate mission? What gets them excited about the work they’ll be doing?

PrideStaff Thousand Oaks is an expert in spotting the red flags that make for a bad candidate for your organization. Companies trust us with their candidate search processes because we have an excellent experience finding top talent. Hiring this fall? Partner with our team of skilled recruiters and let us help you find the right all-star for YOUR team.