List of Red Flags to to be Aware of During an Interview

Interviewing is a fine art. If done correctly, it allows for you to learn a lot about a potential hire in a short period of time. Quite often, the interview is the deciding factor of

whether to hire or reject a candidate. Ideally, after a positive interview an employer will want to hire and move forward with the candidate.

Below is a list of Interview Red Flags; looking for these signs can save your company a lot of time and money in the long run. An interview could be going very well but one negative comment or omission that seems insignificant at the time, can have much larger impact further down the line, and it’s important to know what to watch for.

1 – The candidate is late.

If a candidate shows up late for the interview you can bet they will show up late for work. Being late for an interview also does not show appreciation of the interviewees time. However, it is important to remember that everyone has good and bad days. If a candidate is late, but calls ahead and has a sincere reason it’s a red flag but not a deal breaker.

2 – Candidate provides TOO much personal information.


If a candidate informs you of a lot of personal information during the interview, this is a bad sign. The information they are supplying may be too informative, or inappropriate. This shows a lack of interpersonal skills and is a sign that they may cause unnecessary drama in the work place.

3 – Candidate left previous jobs for bad reasons.

As you talk through the candidate’s work history, make sure to ask why those other jobs ended. A candidate may give vague answers for one or two, out of respect for the employer and in an effort to not speak badly about the manager or brand, so be flexible. However, a red flag may be if the person has unexplained dismissals. My favorite personal excuse is “I forgot why I left that role”. THIS IS NEVER A SUFFICIENT ANSWER.

4. Candidate has large unexplained time gaps in their work history.

Large time gaps in work history can be caused by a lot of reasons. Some acceptable explanations may be, death in the family, severe illness, travelling, or childbirth. If the candidate cannot provide you with a valid explanation of their absence from the work force or if they blame it on not being able to find work, they could be unmotivated or hiding something. This is not the type of person you want to join your team.

5 – Candidate shows an overly high interest in pay and benefits.

The person you are interviewing is of course looking for a paycheck. This is understandable, however, if their only concern or question is regarding pay and personal benefit, this is a bad sign. These types of questions display lack of interest in the position and a low level of motivation and dedication. If a person only cares about money they are likely going to leave your establishment when a higher paying position becomes available.

Those listed are just a few red flags to look for when interviewing a candidate. Others may include, bad attitude, poor posture, foul language, too much enthusiasm, etc. The bottom line is follow your gut. If you feel there is something off about the candidate, there is a reason, do not move forward with them. Always follow your intuition and be sure to follow up with references for credibility.

If you have any questions about the interview process or what to look for when interviewing a candidate please call 604-606-1831. One of the recruiting specialists at Career Contacts will be happy to help. Please see our other blogs at for more hiring tips! ????