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Hiring Managers, Beware of these Red Flags During the Interview Process


All successful organizations know that hiring top talent is a vital component of maintaining long-term success. A cover letter and resume can only tell you so much about a person; arguably the most important part of the hiring process is the candidate interview. But the interview process is not as cut-and-dried as it may seem. For example, it’s essential to pay attention to what the candidate doesn’t say as much as what he does choose to share. Additionally, body language can often give you more insight about a candidate than the words coming out of his mouth. So, in your quest to hire top talent for your organization, consider the following red flags you should look for during the interview process:

Dismissing other staff members. Yes, the candidate should want to impress you, the hiring manager, but he should also want to impress the rest of your staff too. What does that mean? From the time the candidate walks in the front door of your building, he should treat everyone– from the security guard to the receptionist to the CEO– with courtesy and respect. If a candidate is dismissive towards those who aren’t involved in the interview process, consider it a huge red flag.

Being tardy. Take note– there is no reason short of a natural disaster for a candidate to be late for an interview. All top-notch candidates understand the importance of punctuality, so they allow for plenty of time to account for the unexpected– a traffic jam, a wrong turn. Simply put, if a candidate isn’t on time for an interview, consider yourself warned: punctuality isn’t his strong suit.

Lack of preparation. So, a candidate shows up on time, dressed to impress, and greets the entire front office staff respectfully. Things are looking good until you sit down for the interview and realize that this candidate knows absolutely nothing about your organization. Regardless of how qualified a candidate is, if he hasn’t taken the time to research your company, you have to ask yourself how serious he is about the position. A serious candidate always come to an interview prepared: he know all about the company’s product; he can name the organization’s biggest competitors; and he’s up-to-date on the latest press releases.

Not asking any questions. Typically, at the end of the interview, the hiring manager opens the floor for questions from the candidate. If you invite a candidate to ask you questions and he declines, proceed with caution. Not asking a single question can mean a variety of things: the candidate is unprepared, he lacks the ability to think critically, he’s uninterested in the position or the company. Alternatively, if the candidate only asks questions regarding salary or vacation time, his interest in the position might not besincere.

Poor body language. What a candidate tells you with his body is just as important as what he tells you with his mouth. In fact, sometimes body language can reveal more about a candidate than words can. For example, if a candidate lounges back in his chair during an interview, his body language might be revealing that he’s disinterested or even lazy. If a candidate neglects to make eye contact, he might be overly nervous or downright dishonest. So, what type of body language sends a positive message? Look for candidates who have good posture, firm handshakes, and maintain eye contact throughout the interview process.

If you’re looking to add top talent to your organization, contact us today! We are a boutique staffing firm in the San Diego area, specializing in finance, accounting, and administrative opportunities. We’d welcome the opportunity to help you locate the right talent for your unique needs.