Human Resources

Hire the Right Employee: Red Flags During the Interview Process

Jason Nazar is CEO & Co-founder of Docstoc (docstoc.com). In this video he discusses red flags during the interview process.

Transcription: There are three things that I always try to watch out for when I hire a new employee. The First Is: Are they going to speak badly about their previous employer, or person that managed them? So I always ask a general, open ended question: Tell me about what you didn’t like about your past role. And if that person takes my bait and just spent a couple minutes trashing their old company and their old manager, I know that’s not somebody I want in my organization because at the very least, if they’re not professional in handling disagreements with people in the past. Number two is: are they unable to identify their own personal weaknesses? So similar to the first question, ill ask somebody, tell me what youre not good at? If I went around and I asked ten people you worked with in the last 3-4 years, what you don’t do well? What are they going to say? And if they can’t either think of any or come up with general vague answers like “I work too hard” or “I give it my all” I know that’s not somebody that’s self reflective enough to identify what their own weaknesses are and it’s a big red flag that once we start working together, we’re not going to see eye to eye on a lot of things. Finally, the last red flag is, is that candidate unprepared after you ask them and prompt them to be prepared about something. So for example, if before they come in for a second or third interview, you ask them to take a look at your product or service and use it in detail, and they get into that interview process and they really haven’t gone through that and they’re unprepared, it’s a very tell-tell sign that once they actually start working with you, they’re not going to take the time, energy and diligence to do what they need to do right once they’re in the organization and so if they’re unprepared in the interview process they’re most likely going to be unprepared once you hire them as an employee. If you make sure to look out for those three red flags, you can typically steer yourself away from the employees who do more harm than good for your organization.

  1. Speaking ill about a former employer or company
  2. Indicates their level of professionalism
  3. Failing to identify personal weaknesses
  4. Conveys a lack of self-reflection
  5. Neglecting to do any follow-up from a previous interview
  6. Signals an absence of work ethic

There are three things I always try to watch out for when I hire a new employee.

The first is, are they going to speak badly about their previous employer or person that managed them? So I always ask the general open-ended question. Tell me about what you didn’t like about your past role. And if that person takes my bait and just spends a couple minutes trashing their old company and their old manager, I know that’s not somebody that I want in my organization because at the very least, they’re not professional about the way they handle their disagreements with people in the past.

Number two is, are they unable to identify their own personal weaknesses. So similar to the first question, I’ll ask somebody tell me about what you’re not good at. If I went around and I ask ten people that worked within the last 3, 4 years what you don’t do well, what are they going to say? And if they think can’t think of anything or come up with a general vague answers like I work too hard or I give it my all, I know that that’s not somebody that’s self-reflective enough to identify what their own weaknesses are and it’s a big red flag that once we start working together we’re not going to see eye to eye in a lot of things.

And finally, the last red flag is, is that candidate unprepared after you asked them and prompt them to be prepared about something. So for example if before they come in for a second of third interview, you asked them to take a look at your product or service and use it in detail. And they get into that interview process and they really haven’t gone through that and they’re unprepared, it’s a very tell tale sign that once they actually start working with you they’re not going to take the time, energy and diligence to do what they need to do right once they’re in the organization. And so if they’re unprepared in the interview process, they’re most likely going to be unprepared once you hire them as employee.

And if you make sure to look out for those three red flags you can typically stir yourself away from employees that will do more harm than good for your organization.

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