Interview Techniques - Red Flags To Watch For During a Job Interview
- Sep 06, 2016
The ability to notice potential red flags during a job interview is an valuable skill. What constitutes a red flag? Any behavior that arouses suspicion or a “gut feeling” that a particular candidate is wrong for the job and/or will not fit into your organization’s culture. Simple things like spelling errors on resumes, lateness, or delays in communication let you know that someone doesn’t pay close attention to their work, isn't really interested in the position, or doesn't respect your time. But what about the more subtle indications that show you’re interviewing the wrong candidate?
Interview Techniques for Spotting Red FlagsHere are some interview techniques that will help you keep an eye out for the not-so-obvious red flags.
- Ask what attracted the candidate to your organization, and then look in their response for something that indicates they’ve actually researched your company. Candidates who cannot discuss your products, services or customers are letting you know they didn’t bother to prepare for the interview — let alone look at your website before they applied for the job. Portraying company knowledge gives you insight into their work ethic, and should give them an edge over other applicants.
- Verify a candidate’s resume and cover letter claims by asking questions that solicit more details about job performance, successes and failures. Nothing is quite as revealing as a candidate who cannot provide examples or detailed answers. If someone claims to work well in a team environment but can’t talk about the last team project they participated in, that’s a sure sign they’re telling you what they think you want to hear.
- Speaking of successes and failures, pay attention to whether the candidate admits to making mistakes. More particularly, do they blame bosses, co-workers, or a lack of resources for jobs that went wrong? Every applicant is entitled to make mistakes — they’re human. How they handle those mistakes is what counts. You want a candidate who takes responsibility and knows how to repair a problem.
- As the interview ends, open the floor to questions from the candidate. If the first, and perhaps only, one is “What does the job pay?” you may want to think twice before hiring. Candidates who only display an interest in salary, benefits and vacation time may be less ambitious and unwilling to do what it takes to handle challenging tasks. Worse, they may not know enough about your company or the position to ask an intelligent question. Conversely, good follow-up questions will help you see who the candidate is and whether he or she has the potential to become an important part of your team.