6 warning signs you have a bad job candidate

Weeding through job candidates is never easy. Not only are you trying to match the person’s skills and experience to the job, you’re also looking for other clues that could give you an indication of what you might be dealing with down the road.

Here are six red flags that scream “Don’t hire!”

1. Candidate comes in empty-handed. A bulging briefcase is not required here, but any job candidate serious about working for your organization will at least bring a pen; a portfolio containing a legal pad and some extra résumés would be better. Beware of the job-seeker who comes in with his hands in his pockets. Such an ill-equipped person will either likely take his job half-heartedly or really doesn’t care if he gets it in the first place.

2. Candidate complains about anything. Listen for the subtle gripes: “Where do you people park around here?” “The traffic getting here was horrible.” “What, no Starbucks in town?” While petty bellyaching on the surface doesn’t seem like much, don’t mistake it for conversation starters. You probably have a person that will perpetually find fault with his or her job and everything else in the workplace. Good job candidates avoid negativity during the interview.

3. Candidate asks for directions to your workplace. Caution: This candidate is not a problem-solver. Hire him or her and you may end up having to give detailed instructions on all assigned tasks. This is not a self-starter. Besides, there’s just too much technology out there for anyone not to be able to map a route to your door.

4. Candidate uses vulgarity. If anyone feels he or she can drop the “F” bomb or other crusty words with impunity during a job interview, imagine what would come rolling off their tongues in front of co-workers, customers or clients. This candidate has scant sense of decorum. Steer clear.

5. Candidate checks his smartphone during interview. You see it all over the place. People can’t drive, stand in a line, or walk down the street without running their thumbs all over their phones. Good candidates will resist checking their email on their phones during the interview. It shows respect for you, the company and the job sought. Not that all your other employees don’t poke away at their phones on company time, but such behavior during this initial crucial meeting tells you that there’s something more important to this person than getting the job.

6. Candidate asks about the interview: “How long do you think this will take?” Wow! Your best answer: “We’re done now.”