Hiring is never an easy task. The whole process can be long and time-consuming - from creating a job description, to selecting candidates for an interview, to the actual interview itself. It is a relief once the vacancy in your company has been filled. However, not every hire turns out to be the perfect match that you had hoped for.  

How do you spot an inadequate candidate before that person becomes a bad hire? There is no better place than the interview to get to know if someone will be the right fit for your team. Here are a few ways to spot red flags and potential bad hires before it’s too late.  

Typos on application documents 

Perhaps the easiest most common mistake to make on a resume or C.V. is misspelling a word. Although spelling is important, it is the least concern in this situation. Misspelled words on applications displays a lack of attention to detail and that this error was simply overlooked. Applicants did not take the time to double check and proofread their application. Even if it is not a position that involves writing, it shows that they did not care enough about the position to have someone else proofread for them. What does that say about the future work they will produce?  

Arriving late or dressing unprofessionally  

It may be best to pursue another candidate if someone is late for an interview and refuses to give notification prior to. Not only does this demonstrate the inability to budget time and plan, but it also reflects poorly on their overall accountability. This could also indicate a lack of interest in the job and respect for other’s time and energy.  

Lack of preparation and passion  

An applicant is evident to be lacking in preparation for an interview if they simply did not do any research about the organization and are unable to a nswer questions. All candidates should have a basic knowledge about the company and its mission, a succinct summary of their professional experience, and a strong case about why you shoul.5,d hire them. An ideal candidate would demonstrate a genuine interest in working for the company, as part of a team, and discuss their motives for the applied position.   

Asks inappropriate questions  

As some who hires people regularly, you know to expect that candidates will inquire about the salary and compensation package. However, if money and perks (such as sick days, benefits, insurance) appear to be the candidate’s only interest, that is a red flag. Seek candidates who are interested in teamwork dynamics across the company, rather then how quickly and how many vacation days are accumulated. During the interview, ideal candidates are respectful of boundaries and maintain professionalism.  Generally speaking, salary questions should not be a question at the start of an interview. 

Talks inappropriately about former employers 

While a candidate shares previous employment opportunities, be wary if every accomplishment was obtained by a “me and only me” perspective, with no mention of team effort anywhere. The attitude about the situation and how the story is relayed speaks the volume about the person. During an interview, a good candidate displays discretion and restraint and celebrates others’ accomplishments.  

Does not discuss shortcomings 

Avoid a “know it all,” someone who is afraid to admit they have done anything wrong in the workplace. Instead, seek someone who is self-aware – knows their faults and will confess to having made mistakes in the past.  

Pay close attention to candidates who talks enthusiastically about working collaboratively and who genuinely seem to understand the reason behind teamwork.  

A key tip to look out for during the hiring process is to pay close attention to not only on how candidates answer questions, but also how they handle being asked. Develop open-ended behavioural questions to probe job candidates’ thought process – to elaborate on details, express thoughts and offer opinions. These questions allow interviewers and hiring managers to objectively evaluate candidates’ communication and problem-solving skills, to help determine whether they are an idea fit for the role.