If you’re a recruiter, hiring manager or even a regular human resource staffer, you most likely interview your fair share of job applicants. You might even recall the most enjoyable and worst interviews you’ve conducted based on the candidates.
At times you can easily spot red flags with a job applicant, but sometimes certain traits won’t be readily apparent. Additionally, what some would consider “warning signs” for a position, others might not.
The following is a list of issues hiring managers should look for when identifying poor candidates for a position:
Excluding a natural disaster or a serious issue, such as a death in the family, if an applicant arrives late for a scheduled interview then it should be a warning sign to the hiring manager. Showing up late is especially a red flag for an office that depends on team work, according to Fortune magazine. Tardiness may show that the candidate is lukewarm about the position he or she has applied for or indicate that they may be nonchalant about serious business maters.
2. Treating others poorly
Another issue that should give you pause is if the job seeker exhibits rude or impolite behavior to administrative assistants or other staff members, either over the phone or in person while waiting for the interview process to begin. Being disrespectful or disdainful to staff before they’re even hired should be a red flag, according to Monster.com. It could be an indicator of how he or she will treat you and your employees in the future.
If candidates show arrogant behavior and over-confidence without having any past completed projects to discuss in the interview, these can also be warning signs Fortune noted, adding that such attitudes could conflict with their ability to adapt and change to their work environment. A nice demeanor is much more valuable to an office that works as a team, according to The Society for Human Resource Management.
“If it is a red flag that directly conflicts with the job description, I always acknowledge it and explain how the job description indicates it as a red flag,” Laura Paramoure, president of professional training firm eParamus, told The Society for Human Resource Management. “A good attitude can be more important for a person to succeed; a good culture fit is as important – some say more important – than any required skill.”
Other warning signs may include a job applicant that speaks poorly or negatively about former employers. Even if candidates switched jobs because of a bad supervisor or experience, they need to recount it in a professional manner, according to Fortune. Placing the blame on others should be a red flag.
“You should start to get suspicious and ask some probing questions to get to the bottom of the incongruity,” Kaitlyn Annaert, human resources manager for Voices.com told SHRM. “Comments about manager disputes or when someone says negative things about a company they previously worked at should be a sign to pause.”
3. Vague and inconsistent answers
The whole purpose of a job interview is to get to know the candidate applying for the job and to see if he or she could be a good fit for your company. A human resource team should be wary if an applicant answers questions in the meeting with vague responses. If you ask questions about the candidate’s resume and his or her answers do not coordinate with what’s written then you and your hiring managers should be cautious.
The applicant might not be articulate, however, so ask he or she for verification of any degrees they received or proof of past employment if you feel the candidate is suspicious.
4. Arriving unprepared
A good candidate should show up to the job interview prepared with copies of his or her resume and cover letter as well as wearing proper professional attire. Besides applicants’ outward appearances, recruiters may consider eliminating candidates who haven’t researched the company or the position they applied for, according to Monster.com. A good candidate should arrive with knowledge of the business and at least a few questions about the company or role.