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Interviewing candidates for potential roles in your company can be a big responsibility. You have to make sure you find the right fit for the organisation by filtering through countless resumes and conducting multiple interviews. After all, finding the right candidate is essential for numerous reasons. 


Although recent advances in interview technologies can help improve the recruitment process, the onus of hiring the right candidate falls upon the interviewers. Interviewers may try their best to screen potential employees, including going through their social media


However, despite being as thorough as possible, you may still end up missing out on some crucial aspects that could prove detrimental. Here we’ve put together a short guide on some of the most important red flags to look out for when interviewing potential employees. 



Not Owning Up To Past Mistakes

One of the best qualities that a candidate can possess is honesty. A great way to assess how honest and straightforward the candidate is by asking them about some of their past failures. If the potential employee has a victim mentality and keeps blaming others for instances that are clearly a shortcoming on their end, then this is a major red flag. 

Candidates who do not accept their mistakes have difficulty progressing as they do not learn from their past. Instead, they conveniently lay the blame on others. This creates hostilities in a workplace environment, but it can also severely impact the organisation’s operations.  

Repeatedly Bringing Up How Many Other Offers They Have On The Table

All companies are looking to hire candidates that fit the bill nicely and have a stellar repertoire in the industry. However, if the person is boastful and continues to bring up how many other offers they have on the table, then this could mean that they think they’re too good for the job. This behaviour ultimately translates into a non-serious workplace attitude and subpar performance. 

A dedicated individual committed to improving and learning with the right potential can progress a great deal more if given the right opportunity. This is a significant red flag to consider while taking interviews with candidates.


Being Tardy

Punctuality is an essential trait for potential employees. Being punctual, if not early, is an unspoken rule for a job interview as it is a candidate’s first interaction with their employer. Although accidents happen, and if there’s a genuine reason that may have led to a slight delay in their arrival, the mistake can be overlooked. 

However, if the candidate presents you with a flimsy excuse and is significantly late for the interview, then this is a red flag that should be noted. Among other things, being tardy shows a lack of professionalism, that the person does not value time, is not serious about the job, and has issues delivering on time. All of these could negatively impact the organisation if the candidate is hired as their work, even if it is good, will always be delayed. 

Being Unprepared For The Interview

Candidates are expected to have read up about the job they are applying for, particulars of the positions, and at least an overall general view of the organisation as well. The interviewer can skip the critical parts of an interview directly instead of wasting time explaining nitty-gritty details. This shows a vested interest and saves the company time. 

It also shows organisational skills, research skills, and eagerness to join the company. Being unprepared for the interview is a red flag that interviewers should not brush under the rug no matter how strong a candidate’s resume is.


Short Tenures In Previous Workplaces

Another major red flag to be taken note of is short-term experiences. If a candidate switches jobs regularly and cannot adequately explain the reason for their regular switches, then this is a major red flag. 

Although changing jobs is a regular part of growing in one’s career, frequent change often indicates some trouble that the employee may not have revealed yet. 



Employees that fit the job description well can help the organisation improve their revenue, improve work efficiency, maintain a good workplace environment, and reduce employee turnover. However, finding the right employee can be difficult as candidates usually put their best foot forward during interviews. 


However, some major red flags can indicate that the potential employee may not be the right fit for the organisation. By taking note of these red flags in time, interviewers can filter out candidates that would not work well in the organisation in the long term.  




Danny Main is a co-owner & Director at Responsum Global. He has over 15 years of experience matching the top building services engineering talent with the best employers. He has over 100 written success stories. He’s active on LinkedIn, is a host on The Building Services Podcast, and a regular writer on The Building Services Blog. He loves football talking properties and owns a bigger cat than his dog.



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