9 Job Interview Red Flags (For Recruiters)

Before you send out interview invites as a recruiter, you would have made a thorough review of the resume. And after the meticulous resume screening, you send out invites to candidates you think are the best fit for the vacant position. However, the fact that their resume shows they are perfect does not mean that they actually are. That is why interviewing the candidate is of great essence. But how can you know the best candidates during the interview? You should be aware of some common job interview red flags. What exactly are they? Read on to know about the common job interview red flags.

Related: 10 Interview red flags (for job seekers)

9 Job Interview Red Flags

Before you even post a job vacancy, you should have a clear picture of the ideal candidate for the position. This can help you quickly identify the common job interview red flags. That being said, here are 9 job interview red flags recruiters should pay attention to during the interview.

1. Bad body language

One of the common job interview red flags is body language. A candidate may say one thing but they might mean another thing. This is why you should pay attention to the candidate’s body language. For instance, if they can’t maintain eye contact, it might mean that they lack confidence. If they sit in a relaxed or slacked posture it might mean they are not interested in the job. A standoffish body language might be a sign of a negative attitude. So recruiters should look out for the candidate’s body language to know what they mean.

2. Sloppiness and tardiness

Sloppiness and tardiness are also one of the common job interview red flags recruiters should look out for. They should not come late for an interview without informing the recruiter. Likewise, they should dress well and present themselves professionally for the interview. If there is sloppiness and tardiness, it might simply mean that the candidate does not care enough to put the effort into how they present themselves.

3. Lack of good listening skills

A good listening skill is important to show that they pay attention to little details. If you notice that the candidate is asking you to repeat questions then they have poor listening skills. And this is one of the common red flags during an interview.

4. Gossiping about their former employer or colleagues.

Everybody cannot get along with everyone. Thus, it is not expected of the candidates to get along with their former employees or colleagues. But they should not gossip or complain about them during the interview. They should not attribute their failure to their former employee or colleague. If they do this, it might mean that they do not take responsibility for mistakes, and this is a great red flag.

5. Being Unprepared

A candidate should have prepared well for the interview. They should have researched the company and the job role. This will make them know basic information about the company and the job role. If the candidate could not answer simple questions, that means they did not prepare well. And this is one of the common job interview red flags. Thus, the recruiter should look out for unprepared candidates.

6. Lack of passion for the job.

A candidate that is passionate about the job will show excitement and passion during the interview. You can see the excitement in the body language and the passion in the way they speak about the role. If a passion lacks passion for the job, they might not be really interested in it. They might be applying because of the benefits and compensation attached. This is one of the popular job interview red flags and you should avoid such candidates.

7. Gives generic answers to questions

On the other hand, when you ask candidates questions about the role or about the company they should be able to give specific answers to your questions. Giving generic answers means that they did not take their time to know more about the role. And this might translate to the fact that they are not interested.

8. Asks no question

An interview should not be a one-sided conversation, it should be an interactive one. Therefore, as the recruiter is asking questions, the candidate should ask as well. Lack of questions from the candidate is one of the common job interview red flags. It could be because they do not have any interest in the role or they did not do thorough research.  

9. Can’t explain their job role at the previous job.

No matter how mundane a job role is, a candidate should be able to explain their role. If they could not do that, it could mean that they were always distracted at work or they don’t have an interest in knowing how their role fits into the company.

How recruiters can spot job interview red flags.

Many job seekers know about these common interview red flags. Hence, they might give out false information so you won’t suspect them. However, to spot these job interview questions, you should:

Make the candidate feel relaxed

Do not be overly serious in an interview. The candidate already has interview jitters, do not add to it. Make the conversation interactive. Talk to them about everything and anything. Let them be comfortable with you so that they can be themselves around you. This way you can get a glimpse of their personality. Thus, you can spot any job interview red flag.

Ask ideal questions

As much as it is essential to make the candidate comfortable, don’t go around asking questions that are not related to the company. Ask them about their goals and values so that you will know it aligns with the company’s culture.

Seek others opinion

To get the ideal candidate for a job, more than one person should conduct the interview. So if you are not really sure about a candidate you should seek your colleague’s opinion. The truth is that they might have noticed some job interview red flags as well. 

Final Thoughts

I hope with this article, you now know some job interview red flags and how you can identify them. However, having one of these red flags does not mean that you should not hire the candidate. But, you should use your expertise and skill to go for the ideal candidate for the role.


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