Provisional Blog

Interview Red Flags & How to Spot Them in a Candidate

October 1st, 2019

There’s a lot on the line when you’re interviewing a candidate. You’re trying to assess their skills and abilities, as well as their personality to see if they’re the right person for you. It’s a lot to get right and can get complicated quickly. However, whatever you do, just make sure you’re looking out for these red flags, which can indicate a potential hiring mistake:

Giving you vague answers.

When you’re assessing a candidate, you need specific information and details to determine whether they’re the right fit for you. But if they’re giving you vague, boilerplate responses to your questions, it could be due to lack of skills and confidence. Continue to dig deeper by asking follow-up questions. If, however, you’re still getting unclear answers, move onto another candidate. 

Not preparing for the interview.

A lack of preparation will become evident quickly after you ask a few questions. If they don’t know what your company does, or can’t give you specific insight into how they can contribute, then it’s clear they didn’t do much to prepare. Cross them off the list and instead consider those candidates who spent time learning about your company, its needs and how they’d fit in.

Speaking negatively about a past employer.

When a candidate is answering a question, the last thing you want to hear is trash talk about a past employer. This is a good signal that they lack maturity and professionalism. It’s also an effective indicator of what they might say about your company if you were to hire them. 

Poor body language.

Even if a candidate has all the right answers, if they’re fidgety, twirl their hair or don’t make eye contact, it’s difficult to believe in their abilities. While a little bit of nervousness is understandable and expected, poor body language overall can signal a lack of confidence. 

Making demands upfront.

If a candidate starts talking about salary and vacation time upfront, it’s a big warning sign that your opening is simply another job to them. They’re not truly interested in your company and the opportunity you’re offering. It also shows that they lack interview etiquette, which is just another red flag and mark against them. 

Bad listening skills.

No matter what job you’re hiring for, listening skills are critical for success in it. It’s why if they’re showcasing a lack of listening abilities – such as talking over you, not answering questions directly, or asking the same questions over and over – it’s a sign of what’s to come if hired. 

Interested in getting expert help with your hiring efforts?

Reach out to the team at Provisional. As one of Spokane’s top staffing agencies, we can connect you to the talented people you need, where and when you need them, lowering your risk of a hiring mistake in the process. Call us today!