Warning Signs to Look for When Interviewing A Candidate

So they look great on paper, but do you really know what’s going to come walking through your door? Pay attention to these warning signs when interviewing your next candidate:

Interview Warning Sign #1: Appearance

This is an easy one. If they arrive at the interview in a gym suit, overalls, mini skirt, etc., you may want to rethink your candidate choice. If they can’t put any effort into their interview attire what makes you think they are going to put any effort into their work?

Interview Warning Sign #2: Knowledge of Company

If a candidate arrives to an interview and know nothing about your company, why are they there? They don’t know who you are, what you sell, who your competition is, nothing! How can you have someone represent you if they know nothing about you? Further, if they haven’t taken an interest in your company, they probably won’t take much of an interest in their job. To go even deeper, are they unable to think for themselves? Do they need to be told what to do? This is an important warning sign!

Interview Warning Sign #3: With-holding Information

This is a tricky one. If a candidate won’t tell you why they left their previous position, who they are interviewing with, what they did during the gap in their resume, why they never finished school, why they are applying for your company, etc., wouldn’t you be concerned? Never mind the questions they avoiding, look into the fact that they are withholding information. Do they have something to hide? Are they really qualified? Are they trying to make themselves sound better than they really are? If they work for your company can you trust them to complete their requirements?

Interview Warning Sign #4: References

Ah, references. If their references can’t offer specific details on their job performance, you may have a problem; if their references don’t even know they are references, you may have a problem; if your references haven’t spoken with the individual in ten years, you may have a problem. Why couldn’t this individual have given you better references? Why won’t they let you speak to individuals they worked directly with?

Interview Warning Sign #5: Your Questions Catch Them Off-Guard

Now if you ask a silly question, or an odd question, I would expect an off-guard reaction. If you ask them qualifying questions and they can’t understand the question or articulate a response, I would be alarmed.

Interview Warning Sign #6: They Don’t Know Why They Want To Work For You

Big red flag! If you ask them why they want to work for you and they don’t have a response, what makes you think they intend on staying at your company long-term? Chances are, they are looking for a paycheck until a better opportunity comes along.

Interview Warning Sign #7: They Have No Weaknesses

If they don’t have any weaknesses they must be perfect, right? Wrong! Everyone has weaknesses, some more than others. A person has two options, a) understand and grow or b) ignore and fall behind. Are they capable of listening? Do they want to learn? Will they discourage others?

Interview Warning Sign #8: Can’t Prove Their Abilities

They tell you they are a great leader, great problem solver, committed to their employer, whatever it may be, but, they can’t back it up. How can you be a good leader with no leadership experience? How can you be a great problem solver with no problem solving experience? How can you be committed to your employer when the longest job you have ever stuck to was one year? Make sure they can provide you exact situations that demonstrate their “claimed” abilities.

For more of my job search, job interview and career articles visit my blog.

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