5 Interview Red Flags for Employers

Finding the right candidate can be tough. Through a time consuming, and likely costly, search, you’ve finally narrowed down your candidate pool and are now beginning the in-office interview stage. Congratulations! But now that your choices have narrowed, it’s time to become even more meticulous about which individual you select for your open role. Choosing the wrong employee could become more costly to your company than extending your search to find the best employee possible. Anyone can look great on paper, but it’s best to take note of interview red flags that will clearly show that an employee would not be a good fit for your organization.

The staffing professionals at Pascoe Workforce Solutions are very familiar with the interview process, which is why we have come up with 5 Interview Red Flags you should be aware of while meeting with candidates.

Arrives to Interview Inappropriately Dressed

Every office has a dress code they abide by for a majority of working days, and typically a new employee should be mindful of that. While not each candidate will ask about the policy, they should always be presenting themselves in a professional manner. Coming to your office extremely over or under dressed will indicate that the candidate has no knowledge of your company culture and has likely not done their research prior to arrival.

If your office has a strict casual-dress policy where everyone is in jeans five days a week, chances are you will still make the effort to dress up for an interview. Should your candidate show up in jeans (bonus: with holes, or worse, sweatpants) and a t-shirt, the interviewer should take notice. Even if you subscribe to the idea that appearance does not reflect how well a person can perform a job, you should worry how prepared the candidate was – and question if their judgement would be a good fit for your company.

Bad Mouths Former Employers

This should be common sense for everyone. The candidate would come in to your office looking forward to working for you and getting a new start – not dwelling on how much they hate their current job, or how angry they are about being let go. While you should want them to be honest about why they are looking to join your team, going in depth and resulting to name-calling is not appropriate, and can reveal a lot about a candidate’s true personality.

If you make the decision to hire the candidate, their negativity could rub off on your team as well. Also consider the possibility that the candidate experiences a similar situation at your company (not happy with their job, or ends up being discharged), and from there you can expect them to bad mouth you in their future interviews, or even on online, as well.

Not Giving Full Attention to the Interview

It’s 2015, and as such, most people carry smartphones with them, Having the phone at an interview, however, should mean it is on vibrate (or preferably silent), and out of sight. Granted there are cases where the candidate may forget to put their phone on silent, or they alert you they had an unexpected personal reason to need their phone – but these instances should be far and few between.

Candidates should be showing you respect by giving you, and/or your team, their full attention. By texting, checking social media, or even looking up how to answer your questions – it shows they are disengaged, which is how you can expect them to be as an employee.

However, if the candidate is taking notes occasionally during the interview, that’s a good sign of them taking an interest in the position and wanting to remember important parts of the conversation.

Catching Them in a Lie

This should be another no-brainer. Some individuals don’t interview well – it’s not a secret. However, as the interview progresses, if the candidate still hasn’t relaxed enough to maintain eye contact, or seems to be speaking in circles, they may be hiding something. The candidate could also be indirectly providing you with contradicting information. Contradicting information may be hard to catch, but you should be on the lookout during your conversation and take notes during the conversation to review later.

Of course there could be small discrepancies, like forgetting which month they started a job many years ago, but there are instances which you should not take lightly. Faking a reference, exaggerating job responsibilities and accomplishments, or even lying about why they are no longer at a past job are all reasons to be cautious if you do choose to proceed with these candidates. Dishonesty is a trait that could lead to the employee taking credit for work that is not theirs, or something that could result costing your company significantly.

Asking the Wrong Questions

People work to live, and clearly salary and benefits are important to a person’s life. Yet, if this is your first time meeting with a candidate and all they seem to ask you about are what their pay will be, how many vacation and sick days they’ll get, or if you’ll match their 401k, you may want to be skeptical about the candidate.

During the first round of face-to-face interviews the candidate should be focused on learning more about the role and the company, and perhaps the company culture to judge whether they would be a good fit and if the role would be a mutually-beneficial experience. Obviously compensation and benefits are important, but these items should be discussed only at the last round of interviews. Candidates who bring up money early in the process can be seen as only wanting a job for the money and benefits, and not to actually utilize their skills and improve the organization.
If a candidate raises any of these interview red flags, be cautious about inviting them back for a second interview. The interview process can be stressful, even for employers. The employment professionals at Pascoe Workforce Solutions can help! We screen candidates before sending them along to our clients to ensure they receive the best. Contact us today to learn about our services and how we can help your company find the perfect employee.