It can be a real challenge for hiring managers to judge an employee by their behavior as a candidate. In fact many times, a candidate seems perfect on paper, but may not actually turn out to be a great hire. But the question is, how do you know? How can you reduce risk and do more than judge a book by its cover? Here are some critical tips and telltale signs that will help you weed out the bad candidates before investing too much time or effort into their job search.

Red Flag #1. They Only Talk About Themselves

While it’s important for candidates to shed light on their experience and accomplishments in an interview, it’s also an important time to talk about shared successes. How did they help lead their team? How did they help or mentor others to grow into more skilled or knowledgeable employees? If they can only talk about themselves, that’s a warning sign. To help dive deeper into this element of their personality, ask direct questions about group dynamics, learning opportunities and professionals they admire. Look for the candidates who speak warmly about at least a couple people they have worked with in the past, because you want to hire someone who recognizes other contributions and is not someone focused exclusively on their own success.

Red Flag #2. They Take Credit for Everything Good

Again, it’s important to find people who are able to recognize the contribution of others and celebrate the success of others as well. A strong team dynamic is one that is built on collaborative personalities. A great candidate will mention teammates and colleagues and mentors as they contributed to their own success. No one works well in a vacuum. To say you do is to disregard the impact of others on our lives and on our work. Look for the candidates who are able to give credit where credit is due, even when tasked with pitching their potential value to a future employer.

Red Flag #3. They Can’t See Their Own Faults

It’s always a challenge to recognize where we can improve, but taking feedback and building on it is a very important part of being a successful and impactful employee. If they can’t talk about their own shortcomings, they can’t do much to improve on those areas of weakness. So, ask the timeless question, “What’s your biggest weakness?” And really evaluate a candidate on their answer. Look for ways they have worked on improving themselves. How have they sought to learn from those weaknesses and address broader issues related to their long-term success? You might even find that those who know their faults best will make for the best candidates. It all comes down to attitude in the end.

No one wants to make a bad hire, one that drains a team’s energy and creates more problems than they solve. So take the time to get to know your candidates. Ask tough questions and really pay attention to their answers. By knowing what red flags to watch out for, chances are you will be more confident in your choice and land a strong hire for the long term.

For more tips on building your team with confidence, contact the recruiting experts at Verum Technical today.