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The latest advice and best practices in hiring and careers.

9 Red Flags to Look for When Interviewing Candidates

When you’re interviewing candidates, there are a lot of positive traits you’re looking for. You want integrity, communication skills, a solid work ethic, teamwork, not to mention all the relevant hard skills. But there are also some warning signs you should keep an eye out for.

Here are nine red flags to look for when you’re interviewing candidates

Questionable work history

Be sure to find out why your candidate left each job on their resume. If they have a string of suspicious reasons—they got fired, they had a disagreement—you should at least investigate those reasons a bit further, but be warned that they might indicate a pattern of behavior.

No achievements

You want to hear about their successes and failures as they can tell you a lot about candidates’ character, resilience, and ability to learn from mistakes. But if you have a candidate who’s having trouble coming up with stories and specific examples of their work experience, that’s a red flag. It might be a sign that they don’t have much.

Job hopping

Never a good sign. Especially if they’re only staying for a few months or weeks and then moving on. Chances are that pattern won’t stop when you hire them. It’s a habit or mindset that’s been long ingrained in them.


Being late for a job interview of all things is a big no-no. It’s either a sign of chronic lateness or a sign that they’re not that interested in the job and they don’t respect your time. The same is probably true if they skip the interview or need to reschedule multiple times.

Poor questions

One of the best opportunities to see your candidates’ true nature is when you give them the chance to ask questions at the end of the interview. But if they don’t ask any questions or don’t ask any good ones, it might mean they’re not really interested in the job or they haven’t really considered what the job will entail.

Errors in the resume

If you spot multiple typos, spelling errors, or grammatical errors in the resume, you’re dealing with someone who’s careless and doesn’t pay attention to details.

Poor interviewing skills

This might be a lack of eye contact, rambling answers, stumbling over words, unprofessional appearance, or inappropriate language. Depending on the job you’re hiring for, you don’t always need a great interviewer, but you probably want someone with decent communication skills and who’s going to represent your company well.

Resume gaps

There are lots of completely legitimate reasons why an applicant might have a gap in a resume—raising a child, caring for a loved one, or pursuing additional education. Ask lots of questions about those gaps.

Lots of demands

If a candidate sits down in front of you and immediately demands a certain salary, a specific schedule, and lots of other perks, you’re probably dealing with a high-maintenance employee who’s going to keep throwing demands at you once they’re hired.


For more advice on what to look for when you’re interviewing candidates, contact our team today.