Be Scared if You See These Traits in Job Candidates

These signs can help you tell when this isn’t the right person for the job.

Choosing the right candidate for a position can be a difficult task. You may get recommendations from colleagues and impressive resumes, but how can you know for sure that the person is as good as they look on paper? This Halloween season, don’t be fooled by the masks some people put on; learn how to see their true personalities. The interview process is a great way to get to know someone, and while the candidate will likely be on his or her best behavior, there are some red flags you can watch for during the hiring process that will give you more insight to whether or not you’ve found the right candidate.



This might seem obvious, but it’s also the easiest way to spot someone who isn’t the best choice for a position. Are there typos or spelling or grammar errors on the resume? Is the person late to the interview, distracted during your phone conversation, or dressed too casually? While occasionally it’s possible for someone who is usually prepared and punctual to be running late or having an off day, it’s more likely that these are red flags you should be wary of.


Negative Attitude

Often, you can read between the lines during an interview and get a feel for what a person would be like to work with. Does the candidate talk badly about their previous boss and coworkers when asked why they are leaving a position? Does he or she take all the credit when sharing about past successes or do they mention collaboration and teamwork? Is the applicant hesitant to take ownership of mistakes? These are potential clues that this person might have a poor attitude or have trouble working as part of a team.


Lack of Enthusiasm

Pay attention to how an applicant acts during the hiring process. The best candidates tend to show interest in the company and position. They promptly return phone calls and emails, and follow-up when appropriate. During the interview, they listen attentively and answer questions thoroughly. You should be able to tell the person knows about the company and the position. If a candidate asks questions that are on the company website or were detailed in the job description, then they probably didn’t take the time to do their research before the interview.



Similar to enthusiasm, pay attention to the person’s interest in the position. Is the candidate genuinely passionate about the job or the company, or does he or she seem to be more curious about salary, vacation, and benefit information? The best employees are going to be those who are motivated by something about the position itself. Does the person have a passion for your company’s mission? Will the candidate be using skills he or she enjoys?


At Penmac, we understand the importance of hiring the right people. Our staffing specialists are experienced in recruiting, interviewing, and screening candidates to make sure they are a good fit for your position. For more information on how Penmac could help with your staffing needs, call your local office today.