You know when you’re interviewing candidates that there are certain bad traits, behaviors and weaknesses you should be on the lookout for. These are typically deemed “red flags.”
Some of them are no brainers – when a candidate shows up late to an interview without a good excuse, when they bash a former boss or colleague, or when they answer their phone in the middle of your discussion. Clearly, these behaviors should land them in the “don’t hire” pile.
However, as one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows there are also other behaviors that are typically deemed red flags, but may actually be false alarms. What’s worse is that they might actually lead you to filter out good candidates who could do a great job in the position.
To help you, here are a few red flags that might not be:
They don’t have long-term career goals.
When you ask the “where do you see yourself in five years?” question and they don’t have an answer, it’s a sign they’re unmotivated and directionless, right? Wrong.
It could simply mean that they’re open to new opportunities and will make the decision about whether to pursue them or not when the time comes. Often, candidates will answer this question with a canned answer that doesn’t really reflect their true self or desires. So if a candidate isn’t sure where they see themselves, don’t use it as a black mark against them.
They can’t articulate a weakness.
Many hiring managers ask the dreaded “what’s your biggest weakness?” question. But again, if a candidate can’t answer it, don’t write them off.
First, no answer may be better than an artificial one – like “I’m a perfectionist.” It can indicate a candidate doesn’t want to be dishonest about their answer and really can’t think of one. And who do you really want to hire? The candidate who “says” they are a perfectionist, which you know probably isn’t the case, or the one that can’t come up with an answer?
It’s a tough spot to be in, but one you can avoid altogether if you ask a different question that better elicits the information you’re looking for. For instance, “if I called your last boss right now, what would they say about you?” Or “what kind of feedback did you get in your last position – both positive and constructive?”
They don’t have enough experience.
You may be interviewing a candidate who only has a few years of experience under their belt, or is making a career switch. Whatever the case, don’t dismiss them if they have three years of experience and you’re looking for someone with five.
In fact, for someone who’s taking a step up, the position you’re offering may be exciting and challenging, whereas for someone making a lateral move, it’s simply more of the same. Just because a candidate doesn’t fit perfectly with your experience requirement doesn’t mean they won’t add value to your company.
And if you walk away from an interview uncertain about a candidate, then do some follow up work. Schedule another interview or phone call to get your questions answered and to ensure you’re hiring the right person for the position.
If you need more help hiring terrific candidates, give Provisional a call. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Spokane, Washington, we use a consultative approach to provide customized staffing solutions to our clients.
Just give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.