As a small business owner, it is essential for you to hire the right person the first time around. You want to make sure you hire employees who will not only do a great job, but can be integrated into your company culture as seamlessly as possible. Though each company’s mission and expectations do vary, there are many “red flags” which can be detected while interviewing a candidate that apply no matter what the job. Here are a list of 10 “red flags” that you should be on the lookout for:
- Arriving late for the interview: Any good candidate knows that both your time and theirs is valuable to the company. Arriving late is not only rude, but shows a lack of time management skills. Chances are if he arrives late to the job interview, he will arrive late to work. Blaming traffic for a late arrival is always a poor excuses
- Unprepared: The inability to prepare can present itself in many ways during an interview. If the candidate does not take the time to educate himself about your company, it is a sign of disrespect and disinterest. Additionally, the candidate should always come prepared with his resume and a pen and paper.
- Inappropriately dressed: A candidate should present himself at the interview looking professional and neatly dressed. This may vary from job to job—a nice shirt and jeans may suffice for someone applying for a maintenance position, but anyone hoping to get an office job should be wearing in business attire.
- Inappropriate language: Swearing in an interview is always unacceptable. It is unprofessional and shows a lack of respect for you and your business. It could also be evidence of an absence of self-control or self-awareness, which would most likely become an issue in the workplace.
- Won’t Stop Talking: Rambling during an interview points to the inability to organize one’s thoughts and a lack of self-awareness. However, this red flag could also be the result of you asking questions that are too open-ended. Be sure to determine which of these is the problem before dismissing the candidate as a potential employee.
- Can’t name a mistake they’ve learned from: Of course, no one is perfect, so everyone should be able to name a mistake they’ve learned from. Those who have learned from a mistake are most likely going to be more coachable and easier to work with.
- Poor body language: A candidate’s body language can be incredibly telling. The initial eye contact and handshake sets the tone for the entire proceeding. If a candidate slouches in his chair during the interview, it could be a sign of inattentiveness and disinterest.
- Complains about past employers: Speaking negatively about a past employer is unprofessional and should be kept out of an interview. Regardless of whether or not the candidate’s complaint is legitimate, it should never come up as a talking point. It is evidence of not taking responsibility for his own actions. A candidate who exhibits this type of behavior will most likely carry this negative attitude into the workplace.
- Overqualified: A candidate who appears to be overqualified will most likely not stay in that position for very long if they could be making more money someplace else. An overqualified candidate is also concerning in regards to how easy they are to work with. You should be wondering why they haven’t secured a job someplace else. It would be beneficial to ask about prior workplace experiences.
- Not asking questions: A failure to ask questions could be a sign of a lack of critical thinking ability, preparedness, or interest in the position. A well prepared candidate should enter an interview with a list of questions to ask at the end of the interview. If the candidate only asks about pay, this should throw up some red flags in knowing his primary priority is money rather than how they make an impact in your company.
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