Red Flags: What to Look Out for When Interviewing Your Next Employee

In a growing economy, companies are hiring more than ever to keep up with steady growth and business demands. However, many companies struggle to hire the right person, while turnover costs time and money. To navigate the pitfalls and ease the hassle of hiring, employers must identify a poor fit before the employee becomes a costly bad hire. This simplest way to hiring the right talent is by acknowledging how engaged the candidate is during the interview—if they aren’t, it’s a red flag.

Check out these four red flags the next time you interview for an open position:

Not Asking the Interviewer Questions

At the end of most interviews, the hiring manager conducting the interview usually leaves time for the interviewee to ask specific questions on such topics as the leader’s role in the company, a day-in-the-life of the employee if hired, questions about the organization, etc. The purpose of this time is not only to create a culture of open communication within the company, but to also understand what type of worker the job candidate is.

Those who have questions ready to ask the potential employer show a desire to fully understand the role to determine if they would be a good fit. When the candidate demonstrates whether he or she is a good fit, it shows respect for not only themselves, but also the hiring manager’s time and expertise. By not asking questions, a job candidate seems uninterested and unaware.

Not Knowing Anything About the Organization

You can tell a lot about a job candidate by the amount they know about your organization. When an interviewee has researched the company, it shows an interest in not only the job, but also the company culture, the future of the business, and an overall desire to work for the company.

Job applicants who know nothing of the organization display a lack of desire to understand what the role entails, a absence of interest in the company’s vision and goals, and poor of initiative. All three of which are red flags pointing to a potential disengaged employee.

Speaking Negatively About a Former Employer

Whether the job candidate is currently employed or a full-time job seeker, one characteristic trait that is hard to overlook is negativity toward other employers. When a job candidate speaks poorly about a former employer it comes across as petty and unresolved. There are always two sides to every story; however, it is a good practice for the professional conducting the interview to ask targeted questions to see how they respond in tough situations and work environments.

  • Why did you leave your last employer?
  • Were you ever fired and why?
  • What is the most difficult situation you encountered with a previous employer?

These types of questions allow the interviewer to see how they respond in negative situations. If they tell the truth, are genuine, and explain the situation coming from understanding instead of accusations, they are definitely a potential good fit for your organization. However, if they tell a one-sided story and complain about a previous employer or co-worker, then raise the red flag.

A Lack of Professionalism

A recent Refresh Leadership poll found that business leaders and hiring managers have experienced some shocking interview behaviors. They all boil down to one problem—lack of professionalism. Each respondent to the poll selected the red flags they experienced during interviews. These are the top 10:

  • Showing up late – 85%
  • Inappropriate clothing – 83%
  • Inappropriate language – 49%
  • Eating or chewing gum – 48%
  • Responding to text messages – 39%
  • Answering a phone call – 37%
  • Bringing a child into the interview – 31%
  • Bringing a friend into the interview – 31%
  • Bringing a parent into the interview – 26%
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol – 24%

When a job seeker exhibits any of these actions, it is difficult to look past the faux pas and see a viable candidate. Regardless of action, each one of these shows a lack of respect for the job, interest in the role, personal care, and soft skills. These are all one-strike-you’re out red flags.

What to Look for When Hiring Your Next Employee

The interview is one of the most important steps a company takes during the hiring process. It puts a face to the application and a personality to the resume. These first impressions are key in determining if a candidate is a right fit. In fact, 46% of new hires fail within 18 months, and nearly nine out of 10 of these poor hires were due to difficulties assimilating with the company. The best way to ensure you don’t succumb to a bad hire is to look for red flags during the interview process. It’ll save you time and money—and protect your current staff from the damage of the disengaged.

What do you look out for when interviewing job candidates? What red flags have you witnessed that kept you from hiring the wrong employee? Let us know in the comments section below!

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2 Responses to Red Flags: What to Look Out for When Interviewing Your Next Employee

  1. Carol Lee August 26, 2019 at 12:28 pm #

    Eye contact

    Heavy smells or body odor

    • Donna Warner September 3, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

      A candidate that is constantly cutting the interviewer off.

      Name droppers

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