Regardless of how effective your talent acquisition team may be, there is always that possibility that the person behind that CV is not a good fit for your organisation. After all, potential candidates are always looking to make the best impression on the hiring manager during the job interview.
But how can you tell if a candidate is indeed a good fit or simply saying fluffy things that the hiring manager wants to hear? Here are some red flags to take note of during the hiring process that signals a candidate may not be as ideal as their CV makes them out to be.
Disregard for details
Hiring managers go through over hundreds of CVs every day. A major tell-tale sign that a candidate has poor attention to details is clearly visible in his or her CV. Spelling mistakes, poor formatting, and grammatical inconsistencies – all these suggest that the candidate either did not bother to put in effort into his or her CV or simply lacked the attention to details. These may not be ideal in a candidate as it can impact work performance or even lead to costly mistakes for the organisation in the long run.
Unable to explain their previous work
It makes sense that a candidate should be able to explain their previous work experiences in detail and how that relates to the role that they are applying for in your organisation. Failing to do so may be an indicator that they either do not pay enough attention at work or are not motivated enough to see how their work experiences can add value to your organisation.
Lack of enthusiasm for the role, product or organisation
If a candidate is taking time to interview with your organisation, it signals that he or she is interested in the product or brand that your organisation has. At the very least, the candidate should have done some background research to understand the product or background of the organisation. Asking some questions around the organisation’s profile or product should help to assess the candidate’s interest.
However, if the candidate is unable to offer any information or show a lack of interest in sharing what they know about the organisation or products, it may suggest that they are interviewing for the wrong reasons.
Rudeness, sloppiness or tardiness
How a candidate presents themselves during the interview is a huge determining factor in how much they value the role. Being rude to the talent acquisition team, hiring manager or any other employee is a major red flag. Likewise, the way that the candidate is dressed also indicates the candidate’s interest in the role. Coming into the interview late without notifying the hiring manager is also another telltale sign.
It is expected for candidates to put their professional foot forward regardless of whether they ultimately receive the job offer or not. Rudeness, sloppiness and tardiness is a sign that they clearly do not respect the hiring manager or organisation, and that attitude is likely to stay when it comes to their work performance.
Complaining or gossiping about past employers
The candidate’s attitude and respect towards their past employers is often a general indicator of their attitude towards work. If they start complaining or gossiping freely about their ex-colleagues or ex-bosses during the interview sessions, chances are that they will do the same once they leave your organisation. While some negative feedback is acceptable, follow up with questions on how they ultimately managed to deal with these unpleasant situations. This would serve as an indication on their attitude when it comes to handling similar situations should they be onboarded into your organisation.
Spotting red flags in a candidate may sometimes be very obvious or subtle. To help with this, there are some tactics that hiring managers can deploy to assess a candidate’s suitability. This may include starting the interview session on a conversational note to make him or her feel relaxed, asking the right questions or even getting a second opinion. Sometimes, it may all boil down to just culture fit.
While one red flag may not always be a deal-breaker, it is always best to use your own judgement and skills as a recruiter or hiring manager to determine whether a candidate is suitable for the role or not.