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Spotting a Bad Candidate Early on

The interview stage has arrived, the pressure is on to find a suitable candidate and you are hoping that the individual you have invited for interview is appropriate for the position. However when the time arrives for the interview, you are already feeling perturbed. The candidate in the waiting area is not who you envisaged when you read their application. Instead you are confronted with someone who already appears unfitting, disinterested or just inappropriate for the role.

Spotting a bad candidate from the offset

Many candidates are assessed on their behavior from the second they arrive on the premises, and some recruiters spot warning signs before the interview has even commenced. Most recruiters keep an eye on candidates from the moment they exit their cars or approach the building. Doing so provides an opportunity to see how well presented, organized and composed the individual is.

From here, when the candidate arrives at reception, you can ask the receptionist to take note of certain aspects of the candidate’s behavior, such as their body language, verbal responses and so on. He or she can then report back to you after the interview has taken place.

Warning signs from first impressions

First impressions are crucial. From the second you enter the room to collect the candidate you should begin to take note of what the candidate is wearing, their facial expressions and their body language.

Are they well-presented or do they appear scruffy? Are they smiling and interested or lacking in enthusiasm? Were they slouched in their chair? What sort of a handshake did they offer – a weak or a strong one? Are they walking slowly or walking with confidence? All of these factors will help you to gauge whether or not the candidate is a good choice.

During the interview

You can also use the above elements during the interview. How does the candidate hold themselves? Do they maintain eye contact and show interest in the interview? Are they engaged in the discussion or very passive? Are their answers prepared or do they seem to have been put on the spot?

By this point you should have a clear impression of whether or not you are interviewing a bad candidate.

One final test is to ask the candidate if they have any questions. If their response is no, this is a definite sign of a bad candidate. Candidates should always have a set of unique and insightful questions prepared for the end of the interview. This is their opportunity to demonstrate their passion and enthusiasm towards the role and if they fail to do so, they are undeserving of the role.




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