Hiring managers reveal their regrets about missing job interview red flags, sharing valuable lessons from their experiences.
On the face of it, hiring employees for a position seems like a fairly straightforward job. Check the individual's basic details, their qualifications and understand why they want to work at the company. But sometimes, certain candidates display characteristics that are indicative of bigger underlying issues. Since hiring managers are also human beings, they sometimes end up missing out on these signs. u/greyghost6 asked, "Hiring managers of Reddit, what red flag did you miss or ignore during an interview that ended up costing you later?" Here are 10 of the most insightful answers that people had to offer.
My SO hired some guy for a store he was working at many years ago. I have an intuition about most people. I get a 'feeling' like anyone but I'm usually spot on. This guy was a real piece of work and I picked up on it quickly. I kept telling SO to fire him before sh*t got really bad and lo and behold, this fella takes money out of the deposit bag to 'recount it because he didn't trust SO had done it properly' and $1000 went missing. Needless to say, my SO got the brunt of the pain from upper management and this pile of liver t*rds was finally fired. Next time, listen to me. u/irescueteddybears
Not a hiring manager, but was evaluating applications for a position. One candidate gave some very thoughtful, insightful criticisms of his current workplace. We appreciated his candor and the content of the critiques was perceptive. When we hired him, we realized that while he spoke well and appeared intelligent, all he could do was criticize everything. Even when his criticisms made no sense. We started to see him complaining about the same things with us that he complained about in his letter, even things that were objectively false (like our vacation policy being use-it-or-lose-it, which it literally wasn't). Moral: A good candidate will find ways to frame criticisms in a positive, forward-looking way in a cover letter, not complain about their current employer. u/Moltrire
If someone tells you that they are a "free spirit" during the interview, you're going to have some problems. Most of the free spirits I have dealt with aren't free spirits at all. They're just immature stoners who brand themselves a particular way to make it look like they're living such a carefree life. They all have phones, do the same petty social media s***, think smoking weed before work is okay because they don't consider it a drug, lack some basic hygiene, etc. Guess what? I smoke weed too and am probably more of a "free spirit" in the traditional sense than any of them. However, there is a reason I am hiring them and not the other way around. Get your s*** together you damned fake hippies! u/calgarykid
People who speak in superlatives rather than answering questions directly. Turns out the guy while super excited to work for me, really didn't understand the role. I ended up firing him on the last day of his 90-day probation period despite spending an enormous amount of time with him, trying to get him right. Yes, it was unfortunate. But it's not like it was out of the blue - I met with him weekly and provided a ton of feedback, direction and encouragement. Due to what the nature of the job is, however, I just couldn't afford to have a low performer on the team. It would have dragged everyone else down due to how our company plans are structured and that wouldn't have been fair to the other 15 folks I managed. Reddit user
One applicant had this weird sort of arrogant body language during the interview. But, because they looked great on paper and otherwise interviewed okay, I wrote it off as anxiety or something. Joke's on me because that person ended up being the whiniest, snottiest, b*******, most vile individual. Thank God they found another job before I had to let them go. Think of how an overconfident man sits. Legs crossed but held as wide as possible so they take up as much room as possible. Reared back in the chair, chin up, looking down on you. This would be weird body language from anyone being interviewed regardless of gender. u/duffs007
That one dude had an amazing part of his CV which we got too attracted to and ignored the other jobs which had 3 lines each. He basically never turned up and lied so often about the reason why he was never there. Had about 20 different stories, all similar, none coherent. The other dude was fresh out of college, didn't realize which college and it was one of those crappy 'we'll teach you everything theoretically but nothing practically' ones. He had no skills whatsoever and could talk off his a** for 20 minutes, not being able to make a sentence that sounded even remotely like what he was aiming for. Both got employed at the same time, both left at the same time. Not only was it about the money, but it was also the pressure on the team to pick up after them all the time. u/LantusSolostar
I used to do hiring for a small store and the biggest red flags were "too good to be true." Candidates who claimed they loved the public, never had any problems with coworkers and were never late or absent invariably caused the biggest problems because they were lying through their teeth. Seriously, you've never disagreed with a coworker about anything? Never been one minute late? Never thought a customer was being unreasonable? I don't mean that you fought with your coworkers or guests, but if you can't admit any conflict ever you're either lying or are so conflict-avoidant, you won't be effective. u/turingtested
Not a hiring manager, but I recently worked under a supervisor who had been out of the industry for several years and was trying to make a move back in. During his interviews, he apparently directed his answers only to the men in the room, even if the question was asked by a woman. They hired him anyway and once he started, he refused to work with the women on the team - even though they knew more of the industry since it had changed quite a bit since this guy had left. Thankfully, he was let go about a year after he was hired. u/LovelyOtherDino
I actually hired someone who was late for the interview. Her apology was totally reasonable and I looked past it because she seemed like a good fit. A few weeks into the job, it came out that she didn’t know what time zone we were in. That’s not the reason she was late, but it did turn out that her understanding of time and clocks was insufficient for a job where scheduling things across time zones was a primary responsibility. u/TheSource88
Ran a grooming shop with my ex-wife. We hired this lady who seemed a little high-strung (tweaky, actually) but we needed the help. Some customers swore that they recognized her from a while back at another shop, but she denied ever working there and seemed oddly defensive about it. One night, we found reviews on our Yelp page from one of her neighbors who she was fighting with. The neighbor specifically called her out in the reviews and spilled about how she was responsible for the death of a customer's dog: she walked away from the table for a break and the dog fell with the harness around its neck and hung. We fired her immediately for lying to us and bringing her drama to our business. u/rick_blatchman