Recruitment is a tough process, not just on you and your team, but also on the candidates applying for your vacant positions. The pressure they are under to sell themselves to your business is immense and should they get to the interview stage the stress and nerves are only likely to increase. This is why when it comes to understanding each candidate, we usually urge businesses to give them the benefit of the doubt and recognise that for many people, even if they look perfect on paper the recruitment process is an unnatural experience and that this can often affect their performance in interview.


However, that being said some candidates are bad news, and the warning signs go far beyond simple nerves. Remember, the interview process isn’t only for meeting with candidates to discuss their skills and experience; it’s also an important opportunity for you to get a feel for their attitude, mannerisms and values and ultimately decide if they will fit in to your company’s culture. To help you make the most of the interview process and identify candidates who may not be a positive addition to your company we’ve shared some early warning signs you should be looking out for.

The Candidate is Late
Organised, professional candidates who care about getting a role with your company will move heaven and earth to get to their interview on time. Although transport delays and traffic can hold candidates up, responsible people will leave in plenty of time and plan their journey with precision and these are the people you want working with you.

They Haven’t Done Their Research
As well as being common courtesy, researching a company shows how eager a candidate is and will allow them to easily express why it is they believe they would be a good fit with your business. A successful interview should allow you to learn a lot about your candidate, not waste time educating them on what you do.

Fails to Show Accountability
Everyone makes mistakes however successful and responsible people don’t shirk the blame, they take time to recover and learn from their setbacks. If a candidate claims to have never made a mistake, chances are they lack accountability and the ability to change perspective. This should raise a red flag as it suggests that if a problem occurs within your company they may be quick to pass the blame, rather than admit responsibility and focus their energy on finding solutions.

Speaks Badly of A Former Employer
An interview is never the time to air dirty laundry and no matter how badly a candidate may have got on with their former employer it’s not appropriate to speak negatively of them. not only does this suggest a candidate is petty and struggle to let go of grudges, it also calls into question their loyalty and discretion, and you need to ask yourself whether you want something with such little restraint working for your business.
Obviously this list is merely a guideline and ultimately the final decision during the hiring process is up to you and your gut instinct. Sometimes nerves can make us say and do strange things so it’s always a good idea to remember that the person you meet in interview may differ slightly to the ‘real’ candidate. However, one or more of these signs could point to a less than favourable candidate, you have been warned!