Interview Red Flags: 4 Things to Look For to Avoid a Bad Hire

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Interview Red Flags: 4 Things to Look For to Avoid a Bad Hire

Bad hires can cost your company thousands upon thousands of dollars in time, training, and resources. For this reason, it is extremely important to know what to look out for during an interview to prevent your business from the heartaches of this costly mistake. Keep an eye out for these red flags during an interview to avoid making a bad hire.

They Show Up Late

The first big red flag when you are interviewing someone for a job is if they show up late to the appointment. Someone who is eager to join your organization and is enthusiastic about the job you are looking to fill will show up on time. When they show up late, they may not be as invested in the job as you’d like a potential employee to be. Either way, they are not putting their best foot forward with your company by showing up late.

Negative Comments About Previous Employers

This one can be a little difficult because, in general, if someone is looking for a new job, they are unhappy with their current position to some extent. However, they should be able to express that without bad-mouthing their current or previous employers. Negativity towards previous jobs could indicate a bad attitude or the inability to work with others.

To field this, you should ask questions like, “What would your current employer say about you, positive or negative?” This will give them the opportunity to be negative, but the right candidate won’t be.

Inability to Discuss Achievements

Any candidate that is unable to speak about their professional accomplishments can be an indication of their work ethic. They may not work as hard as their resume suggests. Each candidate should have clear and measurable achievements they’ve made in their career.

You can ask a candidate, “What have you learned in your career?” Not only will this give them the opportunity to discuss achievements, but you will also be able to gauge their interest in their line of work. If their response is less than enthusiastic, they may not be as committed or engaged as you need them to be.

Unexplained Employment Gaps

Another huge red flag during any interview is having unexplained employment gaps on their resume. Sure, employment gaps happen, especially in a post-COVID environment. That being said, the candidate should have an answer as to why they were out of work. They should also be able to account for the time they took off. Even though they were out of work, many professionals continue to take courses or stay plugged in to the industry in some fashion.

You should simply ask about these employment gaps and check for consistency in their answers. If the answer they give does not line up with something, they said earlier in the interview, be sure to push back and ask for clarity.


A.C. Coy can help you avoid a bad hire by taking care of sourcing and vetting candidates before they reach our talent pool. Contact us to see how we can assist your organization.