At the end of the day, we know that interviewing is far from an exact science. More than a resume, or answers to questions, go into a hiring decision. A candidate who is very nervous may stumble a few times, but might be a great fit for your organization. Conversely, a candidate who says all the right things and has a stellar background may not be the “one.”
Finding top candidates can seem like a challenge.
And once you bring them in to the interview, you’ve devoted a great deal of time and effort to the hiring process. But, after coming this far, the last thing you want to do is make a bad hire. While it may not be a science, there are definitely red flags to beware when conducting interviews. Here are our top six:
- No knowledge of your company (or what it is that you do!). Sure, candidates may be applying to 10, 20, or even 50 companies. Times are tough; we get it. But, if a candidate can’t take 20 minutes to become familiar with your company, what kind of effort will that person put into working for your company? Being unprepared to talk about your company shows a lack of genuine interest or eagerness to begin work. And don’t just ask questions about your company to gage this knowledge. Listen for the candidate to ask insightful questions about your company, its history, and its future direction.
- Negative comments about a previous employer. This should speak for itself. Maybe many of us have former coworkers or supervisors we hope we don’t see at the grocery store. But, we don’t all go around badmouthing them, do we? Badmouthing a former supervisor can demonstrate a lack of respect for authority figures, or worse, it can indicate an employee who simply cannot get along with people. Proceed with caution!
- Immediate questions about salary, vacation and other fringe benefits. Vacations are nice. So is making money. And other benefits are great too. But if a candidate starts off by asking about what’s in it for him (or her), it demonstrates a lack of interest in the actual job and your company, and it could indicate potential for an employee to “go through the motions” to get to the great benefits you offer.
- An inability to give examples. Has a candidate listed impressive results in his or her resume (or cover letter)? Ask for incidences or specific examples during the interview. If the candidate cannot back up his or her claims, it could be a sign of a falsified resume.
- A lack of timeliness. This should speak for itself, and yes, extenuating circumstances do arise from time to time. But in general, being late for a job interview is inexcusable. It shows a general lack of respect for your time, and a lack of interest in the job. Feel free to take extenuating circumstances into consideration (once), but be leery if it happens more than once – you could end up hiring an employee who is chronically late.
- Inappropriate dress. Today’s business world may be a bit more casual during the day, but most employers still expect some type of suit at an interview (or at the very least, a pair of dress pants and a nice shirt). If a candidate appears for the interview underdressed and ill-prepared, it further demonstrates a lack of respect or interest in the job. Look elsewhere (you won’t regret it!).
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