Have you sat in an interview, thinking, this person is perfect for the job, only to find out a short while later, that could not have been further from the truth?  It can be difficult to find the right candidate.  You have probably conducted hundreds of interviews, and know the obvious signs to watch for – lack of skills, wrong personality for your environment, or a spotty resume.

It is the smaller, more subtle signs that most interviewers or hiring managers have trouble spotting.  Be aware of these signs during your interviews.  Even if the candidate seems to be the perfect fit, you should pass on them – it will not work out in the end.

  • No more to learn – if you receive an answer from a candidate stating the reason they left the job was because they could not learn any more from it – walk away immediately.  There is always something that can be learned at every job.  Typically, when you receive an answer like this, it means the candidate lacks initiative and most likely is lazy.
  • Focus on the money – if you have a candidate that focuses the entire interview on the compensation or continues to go back to compensation, pass on the hire.  Most interviewers discuss compensation early in the interview to make sure both are on the same page.  If both are, then the interview can continue.  However, if you are not both on the same page, end the interview.
  • Time for questions – the best interviews are good conversations between both parties.  It should be an engaging conversation, with questions on both sides.  If the candidate has no questions, or asks “canned” questions, it is best to walk away from the hire.  A good candidate will be engaged in the conversation and will ask questions they really want to know the answer to, not just for the sake of asking a question because it is expected.
  • Other offers – some candidates you interview will be in demand, but do not let this sway your decision for the hire.  In fact, if the candidate is bragging about other offers, it is best to pass on the hire.  Most often this means one of two things – they are trying to pit employers against each other to get a higher compensation package, or they have already decided to take another position and you are wasting time with them.

Candidates that are too confident or simply do not listen well during the interview may also cause problems if hired.  While there may be situations where each of these items listed may be ok with your candidate, it is best to walk away from the potential hire.  Hiring a candidate with any of these qualities could prove to be a big money and time waste for your company. 

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