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Interviewing is a fine art. Some questions and answers are straightforward. Other aspects are far more nuanced. Responses, body language and a person’s attitude – or any combination of the above – indicate how an individual would likely act if they became part of your team. So, as you identify personality and character traits, watch for certain red flags.

Think twice about any candidate who:

  1. Shows up late. While this is not an immediate showstopper, candidates should be considerate, organized and respectful of your time. Don’t discount them automatically if they have a solid, sincere reason for their lateness, but otherwise, it shows a lack of preparedness and/or interest in the opportunity.
  2. Hasn’t researched your company. There’s really no excuse for this. At the very least, all a person has to do is visit your company website or LinkedIn. Not doing research is a sign of laziness – not the conscientiousness you want in an employee.
  3. Never explained why they want the job. If a person is unclear about why they’re right for the specific job being offered, it’s a concern. Over time, it’s okay for an employee to move around within a company to find the right opportunity, but at the onset, you need to ensure that their personality and interests align with the current opportunity.
  4. Is disheveled. You can’t fault a job seeker for having bad style or a limited wardrobe budget, but their interview attire should be neat, clean and appropriate. Messy hair, wrinkled clothes, or just plain uncleanliness indicate sloppiness and poor attention to detail.
  5. Complains about previous employers. This usually indicates a tendency to blame others and a failure to accept responsibility. Badmouthing a former boss should make you step back and question a person’s overall professionalism.
  6. Can’t share how they’ve learned from a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. While you should try to hire the perfect candidate, they will never be a perfect person. Watch out for those who can’t share an account of a mistake they made and how they learned from it. What better way to measure a candidate’s humility, coachability, and sense of collaboration?
  7. Jumps from job to job. There’s nothing wrong with changing jobs for the right reason – and maybe even doing it a few times in order to achieve your goals. But if a 26-year-old has already held six positions or a candidate has had multiple jobs that each lasted for less than a year, it points to a problem.
  8. Is primarily interested in their personal benefit. When you hire an employee, you want them to be looking for more than just a paycheck or paid vacation. If they’re not equally excited about contributing to your team, don’t bother.
  9. Doesn’t send a thank-you note. Failing in regard to this basic courtesy shows a lack of consideration or respect for the time you and your associates put into interviewing a candidate. It also speaks to a potential lack of social skills.

Hiring can be tough. To ensure that you find powerhouse talent and make the right hiring decisions, the first time around, consider partnering with TRC Professional Solutions. Contact us today so we can tell you more.


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