What are red flags in hiring process?

A warning sign arises when the number of interviews becomes excessive and the process drags on for an extended period of time. Either of these options (or both) may be a sign that the team or organization is too consensus-driven, indecisive, or has trouble bringing things to fruition. We spoke to Insperity's experienced recruiters and rounded up 26 telltale signs to consider the next time you meet with potential candidates. And with these 26 warning signs for interviews in mind, you're better prepared to make the right decision.

Read our latest guide, 10 interview questions to find the right person in the right position, to discover useful tips for attracting the right candidates and effective strategies for organizing your workforce. Certainly, a senior management position or other high-level executive position will likely require more interviews than for those with a lower professional level. But even for top management, anything that exceeds 10 or 12 interviews is excessive. The average hiring process takes 23.8 days, so if you wait weeks or months between Zoom interviews, you're probably faced with an inefficient or overwhelmed organization.

A candidate's attitude is the most important factor affecting their suitability for the position. A bad attitude is a bright red flag. The interview is the time to impress yourself. If they're bored and not interested in an interview, what kind of employees are they? This is when desperation is genuine.

The candidate is not desperate to work in any position. They want to work in your company. They really want to work for your company. There is a line where enthusiasm is scary.

Complaining about something in an interview suggests a poor attitude or communication skills. Being prepared means that the candidate must arrive on time, must have researched their company and position, and have presented interesting questions. A warning sign in a job interview is when your candidate is unable to provide information about what they learned from a specific event, project, or job. If they openly complain or gossip about their former colleagues, this should be taken as a warning sign of how they would interact in your company.

Perhaps more worrying than not asking questions is a candidate who shows up for an interview remarkably unprepared. I can only work during these hours, I need paid parking, the mobile phone must be covered, I need X amount of vacation, etc. We contacted internal recruiters (CEOs, HR managers and talent acquisition executives) to discover the main red flags in interviews. But how can you tell if a candidate is a good fit or not? One way is to be aware of some common warning signs in job interviews that may indicate that a candidate is not as ideal as their resume makes it appear.

If they are hired, their start date could be delayed, as they probably won't start planning their move to the site until the position is confirmed. However, there are some universal warning signs in interviews that may indicate negative things to come if you decide to hire that candidate. As always, use your judgment and skills as a recruiter to make a decision about whether the perfect resume is also the perfect hire for the job. If the candidate asks a lot of questions about salary, promotions, sick pay and benefits, it's a warning sign.

If the candidate doesn't seem to have at least a basic understanding of the position, your company or what you do, then it's a clear warning sign that they didn't value this opportunity enough to do their homework. If the first one was great, but those who followed it weren't, they could be confirming that the other hire is the right one. If there is a clear lack of effort to look and act in a professional manner, then that is a warning sign of how they would also act at work. Having a clear vision of what you're looking for will help you establish your own red flags that are uniquely tailored to your company and your goals.


Charlene Miles
Charlene Miles

Infuriatingly humble internet guru. Incurable travel ninja. Incurable zombie scholar. Hardcore zombie advocate. Friendly web expert. Hardcore travel fan.