Top 7 Red Flags Employers Notice in an Interview
While attending an interview as a potential candidate there’s a long list of elements for you to focus on. Starting from preparing technical answers for the given job description, to learning more about the company and then preparing questions by yourself for the interviewer.
We’ve gone through all the various stages of interview preparation in our previous blogs, but today what I would like to focus on is things to avoid in an interview setting.
Employers during the interview processes are not only looking for your technical abilities and the skills you bring to the table, rather are evaluating you as a complete person. They are looking to hire those who add value to their company and respect their company goals and culture.
So while you’re prepping for your next interview process here are a few things to keep in mind.
7 prominent red flags that stand out to employers:
Lack of company research
Minimal knowledge of the company shows the interviewer that you’re not keen on this particular job, rather are just looking for any opportunity. This kind of representation lacks loyalty and dedication, which are crucial traits that employers look for.
You will be reminded time and again by the recruiter regarding the importance of researching the company you’re interviewing with. So conduct your due diligence.
This research will also help you prepare better questions to ask the interviewer, which will reestablish your interest in the role and also would shed light on what you can bring to the table.
Types of questions to ask your interviewer:
- What does a typical day look like while working at ‘X company’?
- What are the main technical challenges I’ll be working on?
- What are the opportunities to advance and develop your professional profile?
You can check out more examples on the 10 best questions to be asking during an interview to prepare better and avoid pulling up this red flag.
How you address your current/previous employer experience
The way you speak about your current/previous employer shows the interviewer what kind of loyalty they can expect from you. It’s completely acceptable that you’re looking for a new job opportunity, but it’s key that you address your current employer in the best manner possible.
Maintain a positive tone while expressing your reasons for leaving. Even if you have had a tough past, present your answers in a professional and concise manner.
It’s also better not to burn any bridges while switching jobs.
Lack of in-depth explanation on previous work experience
All questions asked during the interview process will be based on the CV or cover letter you have previously provided. Giving vague answers with no substantial backing, will not help you proceed in the interview process.
Ensure that you have proper examples to support your experience. The best way to approach any interview question is through the STAR technique. Paint a picture of the situation, explain the task at hand, show them the action you took and the result you achieved.
Question: How did you deal with conflicts within your team?
Best way to answer this question: While working on our last project recently, two team members had a difference of opinion, so I asked them to map out each of their approaches and present it to the wider team and we as a group would pick the solution. This way they both had a chance to make their case and the approach was chosen fairly.
Wrong body language
While interviewing in person or over a video call, body language is everything. If you’re slacking or grabbing your phone every opportunity you get, you will send the wrong message. It shows disinterest and lack of respect for the person interviewing you and this would lead to immediate rejection from the employer's side.
Pro tip: Be calm, but not overly relaxed. Sit up straight, address and acknowledge the interviewer asking the question. You want to convey a sense of confidence along with friendliness and professionalism.
Ensure that you’re able to replicate an in-person interview experience, even through video interviews. Centre your camera and try to make the conversation as natural as possible. We’ve heard of instances where the interviewer noticed the candidate glance over at their phone while being questioned, which will definitely be flagged, try to avoid these kinds of mistakes and your interview should go perfectly fine.
Lack of clarity
As mentioned in point 3, you need to give specific and well-explained answers to the questions you’re asked. However, waffling and taking many different directions before reaching your point, will not help you either.
You need to give clear and concise answers, where you’re able to demonstrate your experience. If you explain more than what’s needed, you yourself risk the chance of forgetting what the original question was in the first place, hence giving a more vague answer than expected.
Prone to shift blame
One of the key elements employers are looking to detect in your interview process is your take on team spirit. Every interviewer is more than likely looking for a team player, rather than just a sole contributor. Someone who can get the job done, but also functions well in a team environment.
So while being asked questions on past failures if your answers generally tend to point fingers at your other team members and you don’t hold yourself accountable at all, it won't sit well with the employer. It could very well be the case that you had nothing to do with it, it’s more about presenting a united front on how you dealt with the failures is what’s important. Learning from mistakes is generally a trait employers like to hear about.
This is a huge red flag. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised how often this can be raised as an issue. Even without negative intentions, watch what you’re saying and how it can be perceived.
So there you have it, 7 red flags that we have heard from employers in the industry. Preparation is key when it comes to any interview process. If you have any further questions on upcoming interviews, we have many talented recruitment consultants that can help you out with your queries. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help.
If you’re looking for specific interview preparation information head over to our job search toolkits page and download the most relevant one for yourself.