Style My Soul Explores …
“What are some behavioral red flags when interviewing job candidates for a role?”
Lacking Excitement for the Position
Although this one is a little more difficult to gauge, a lack of excitement is one of the red flags that I look for in an interview. Having a positive work culture is extremely important to our company, as we want our team to not only enjoy being a part of our company but look forward to their responsibilities and serving our customers.
A candidate who does not smile during an interview, does not greet me warmly, speaks negatively about their past work experience, or just has an overall downtrodden vibe, is a definite red flag.
It is a priority for us to keep the positive work culture that we have thriving, and recognizing a lack of excitement in a candidate in an interview could represent a potential negative employee, and that is all the rationalization I need to eliminate a questionable candidate. -- David Derigiotis, CIO, Embroker
Hopping From Job to Job
If you see a lot of stops on a candidate’s resume, that might raise a red flag. If someone works at a job for six months at one place, 12 months at another place, 18 months somewhere else, etc., you have every right to wonder whether the candidate has any staying power. I’ve seen candidate resumes with 10 or more job stints that lasted a year or less, and each time I see such a trend, I don’t give that candidate a second thought. That’s a clear-cut sign the candidate lacks commitment; they pull the ejection handle at the first whiff of boredom, conflict, or intimidation. A few short stints on a resume is fine, but five or more should raise a red flag.
-- Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder, Pocketbook Agency
Beware of tangents, and especially interruptions. Were you required to interrupt the candidate’s long-winded stories in order to move the interview along? That’s a red flag. It’s your responsibility to bring a person into the office who will fit well into the environment. You don’t want to be the person who unleashed the person who would not stop talking or inserting themselves into conversations. Unless you’re willing to coach them out of this behavior because of their other positive attributes, a candidate who doesn’t come across too strongly will save you a headache later. -- Jonathan Zacharias, Founder, GR0
Not adhering to a basic code of appearance may show problems with motivation, such as a lack of care or respect for their potential new employer as well as themselves. This would lead to having to rationalize eliminating the candidate shortly after, because acceptable attire and honorability are vital in any professional field. -- Carly Hill, Operations Manager, Virtual Holiday Party
Speaking Negatively About Past Employers or Colleagues
Candidates who repeatedly complain about their experiences may also show a lack of gratitude or perspective, and may not be the best fit for a team-oriented work environment. It’s important to probe and ask follow-up questions to understand the context behind their negative experiences, but if their attitude is consistently negative, it may be a sign that they are not a good fit for the role or the company culture. One thing that we at Leena AI always keep in mind is to evaluate candidates on cultural fit. We consider the candidate’s personality, communication style, and work ethic. Do they align with the company culture and values and will they work well with the team and be a good fit? -- Sanya Nagpal, Head of Human Resources, Leena AI
Swearing in an interview isn’t necessarily an indicator that a candidate will be a poor employee; however, it shows a lack of awareness and poor judgment. Candidates should know swearing did not bother some people, but there are many who find it offensive and unprofessional. A candidate should always go into an interview intending to put their best foot forward (first impressions are everything), and should understand that certain words are off limits.
-- Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer, Pluto
Displaying a Lack of Accountability
One behavioral red flag to look out for during a job interview is a candidate’s lack of accountability for their actions or behavior. This could include blaming others for mistakes or refusing to take ownership of their work. This can be a significant concern because it suggests that the candidate may not be reliable or trustworthy in the workplace. If you encounter a candidate who displays this behavior during an interview, you might eliminate them from your search. However, it’s essential to remember that no candidate is perfect, and it’s important to evaluate each candidate based on the specific needs and requirements of the role you are hiring for. Before making a final decision, consider additional factors, such as the candidate’s experience, skills, and overall fit with the company culture. It’s also a good idea to verify the candidate’s references and conduct a background check if necessary to help you make a more informed decision. -- Jason Moss, President and Co-Founder, Moss Technologies
Asking the Same Question Repeatedly
Encourage questions in an interview, but if you notice a candidate is circling back to the same one repeatedly, that is a red flag that there may be a problem. Having a candidate request you go into further detail regarding an answer you provided is fine if it remains in the framework of the original question, but having to do it repeatedly, or having to circle back to the same answer later, means they are not listening or comprehending. It is important that you listen to their requests, determine if it is an expansion on your answer or if it is the same one you already provided, and look for signs of comprehension. If you notice a tendency to circle back, that is a red flag, and it’s rational to decide that this individual may not fully understand the role they have applied for, so you can reasonably eliminate them from the hiring process. -- Alexandre Bocquet, Founder and CEO, Betterly
Attempting to Extract Trade Secrets
It’s important to make sure that any candidate you’re considering is not actively trying to solicit trade secrets or other confidential information from your team. If you suspect a candidate for attempting this kind of behavior, it’s best to eliminate them from the search and move on. -- Leo Vaisburg, Managing Partner, Amazon Suspension Lawyer