Warning Signs of a Bad Candidate
By Mandy Ferrin
Tuesday, 11th May 2021

Hiring is always risky; No one wants to invest their time, money and energy into a candidate that falls through.

Sometimes, even the most promising candidate has a red flag worth double-checking. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

1. They’re low energy
Job interviews are all about first impressions. The right candidate will be enthusiastic about the role, even when it comes to the most mundane aspects of the job. When a candidate comes in and seems indifferent, or even worse, uninterested; they may not be the right fit.

2. Frequent job-hopping
When a candidate begins their career, they may find themselves hopping between roles to get their feet wet. This is normal in the beginning. It’s when they’re years into their career that it becomes problematic. If they have a track record of never staying at a job for more than 6 months, it’s unlikely that this job will be any different.

3. Typos
Before the candidate steps into the office, there will be an email correspondence. If you’re finding that their messages (and resume) are riddled with grammatical errors, it’s a sign that they have little attention to detail.

4. Didn’t do the research
A good candidate should know a few things about the company before coming into an interview. If they can’t even remember what job title they’re interviewing for, they’re uninterested.

5. They can’t walk the walk
Asking scenario-based, situational questions will help interviewers match the performance with the presented experience. Their responses will demonstrate how they overcome common obstacles.

Focusing your interview questions on behavioral questions will force the candidate to prove their qualifications. The intentional misrepresentation of a candidate’s experience will always be a warning sign.

6. They’re late for the interview
Being late to an interview reflects poorly on the candidate’s overall accountability. If they know that they’re running behind, they should mitigate the problem by calling ahead of time. Even then, it’s a bad sign when they can’t prioritize the interview.

7. Bad relations with previous employers
An interview is not the time to air out grievances over previous or current employers. Look for a candidate that is respectful when discussing their employment history. Even if they didn’t like their old boss, it shouldn’t be a focal point in the discussion. Quality experience won’t fix an abrasive personality.

8. No details in their answers
Are they short? Or do they elaborate on their answers? Just because they put something on their resume, doesn’t make it true. The best candidates will answer questions in full without much pressure.

9. They have no questions
Unless you went through a deep dive into every possible aspect of the role, they should be able to conjure up a couple of questions if they’re truly interested in the role.

10. Mass applying
Candidates that cast a net too wide are usually less knowledgeable. They’re also probably unprepared for the position since it’s impossible to mass apply for roles that are exclusively in line with their expertise.

One skill all hiring managers need is the ability to recognize talent. Finding the best applicant for the job is especially crucial, which is why many companies rely on recruitment teams to find the best candidates.

At JDI, we are dedicated to engaging world-class talent and providing unparalleled service for our clients. We are committed to delivering service the JDI Way – with speed, quality, and trust. Connect with a search partner here.

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