Common Job Interview Red Flags When Selecting Candidates

Even with an effective recruitment strategy, not everyone who is interviewed will be a good fit for your organisation. You need to keep an eye out for red flags that indicate how a person will perform once hired.

Common Job Interview Red Flags When Selecting Candidates

Even with an effective recruitment strategy, it is important to know how to identify weaker candidates in the applicant pool. Not everyone who is interviewed will be a good fit, and it can be difficult to identify this without knowing what to look out for.

Luckily, there are some job interview red flags that can give a good indication of a person’s future success with your company.

What Are Job Interview Red Flags?

Interview red flags can be anything from appearance to behaviour, and they indicate whether a candidate is unsuitable for a job. Often this is based on snap observations or decisions by the interviewer. This can hint that a candidate is not a good fit for the role in the long term.

However, if they still show some potential, it might be worth addressing any notable points during interview feedback. Keep reading to find out what to look out for!

Rudeness, Sloppiness, Or Tardiness

Regardless of how laidback your company culture might be, it is usually possible to assess the effort a candidate has put into their appearance. For example, if they look as if they have just rolled out of bed, the job is probably not a priority for them! Consider setting guidelines for attire. Not only will this set the tone for the interview, but it will indicate their ability to follow instruction.

Interview Etiquette

Your company should be looking for candidates that respect your time. Therefore, if a candidate is late, it is usually unacceptable. Especially in the current culture of remote hiring, where there are no travel-related excuses! However, be sure to take note of whether a candidate informs you that they will be late. There may always be circumstances beyond their control, but it is etiquette to at least let the interviewer know.

It is expected that candidates will put their best foot forward in an interview. So a clear lack of effort to be punctual or to appear professional is a clear red flag.

Poor Listening Skills

If a candidate is enthusiastic about the job, they will be engaged and attentive throughout the interview. They will be paying attention to what is being said and respond accordingly.

However, if their thoughts are elsewhere, they might forget what has been discussed or ask for repetition of basic points. This can indicate poor listening skills, or that they are easily distracted in a professional environment.

Complaining Or Gossiping

The way a candidate describes their previous employers can be an excellent indication of their attitude. While they are obviously looking to move on and find new work, negative energy can be disconcerting.

Making unnecessary comments about their former team, deriding or minimising the work of their company can be serious job interview red flags. This might indicate how they will behave if employed with your company. Or even how they would speak about your company after leaving.

Interview Instructions

No Learning Experiences

For an individual to progress in their career, they must learn from mistakes and adapt for success. So if a candidate fails to describe what they learned from a previous job or experience, this is a red flag. It suggests they’re not interested in growth and improvement. Or potentially that they did not value their previous experience enough to strive for betterment.

Not Asking Questions

If a candidate has done their research, they will naturally have questions. This suggests that they are invested in the job and want to find out as much as they can. Often, this is one of the biggest job interview red flags for a recruitment team. In fact, many employers claim that if a candidate asks no questions, they will immediately dismiss their application.

An interview is a conversation and is a good opportunity to find out if there is a mutual interest between the candidate and the company. A large part of this is attributed to the candidate asking questions. If they have none, this is a good indication that they have not thoroughly researched the role.

Final Thoughts

Often these points indicate a candidate's investment in the role or your company. They also help separate the motivated workers from those with a negative attitude to work and career progression. If you are hiring for a vacancy in your company, it is crucial to look out for these job interview red flags.