It is best to learn on the mistakes of others than one’s own, as some mistakes can result in costly consequences. When it comes to hiring employees for your business, great care must be taken in predicting their future performance, and consequently their impact on your business. It takes a perceptive interviewer to be able to look past the candidate’s “interview face” and into their true nature. Provided that the interviewer is able to notice them, here are some behavioral warning signs to watch out for during the interview process:

  1. Behavioral Warning SignsCandidate is self-absorbed
    Benevolent employees place the interests of the company before their own; clever employees understand that their company’s success is directly correlated with their own, and are able to create an environment which leads to a win for both sides of the same coin. Selfish employees think solely of their own welfare, and are willing to step on everyone’s toes and put the company at risk to ensure their own security.
  2. Candidate wants to win at everything, all the time
    While this may appear to be a positive trait in sales reps who do not report to a manager, in reality this becomes a nightmare when dealing with clients and vendors because as any seasoned professional knows; it isn’t about being right, it is about forming and strengthening relations. If hired, this candidate will be battling their manager and colleagues over petty things just to prove that they are right.
  3. Adding too much value
    Essentially a one-upper, this persona feels the need to contribute their two cents into everything around them. Nobody’s ideas are good enough without this person’s input, and their ego is through the roof. When approached with etiquette, this trait is highly valued in advisory and creative roles, but its use is limited to the aforementioned roles. The mirrored equivalent to this is the micromanaging manager, who cuts off all oxygen to creativity and suppresses their workers’ desire to take any initiative themselves. The polar opposite is the equally destructive yes-man, who agrees with everything that is said and is both a short-term ego boost and a long-term bandwagon rider in the company.
  4. Starting many sentences with “no”, “but”, and “however”
    A candidate who says this often possesses a nature which may be challenging to work with. These may be indicators of an overinflated ego, and the individual is about as pleasant a coworker as the one-upper.
  5. Boasting of one’s accomplishments
    These candidates feel compelled to notify the world of their intelligence. They also take excessive credit, especially in leadership roles. Another variant of a hyperactive ego that is difficult to deal with in the workplace.
  6. Making destructive comments about previous colleagues
    Whether stemming from a pessimistic nature or misanthropy, certain candidates will speak poorly of past colleagues or employers during the interview. Interviewers should understand that there is no legitimate incentive for the candidate to speak negatively of former colleagues during the interview, and should consider the possibility of the candidate saying the same things about them at their next job.
  7. Passing the buck or making excuses
    Confident and capable individuals do not blame others for their mistakes; they take charge of the problem and provide solutions. Candidates who blame others for their problems or lack of success in life are not on top of their game, and should be screened out. The same applies to those who make too many excuses for their inability to deliver results; this is a similar variation of refusing to take responsibility for one’s work. There are certainly factors outside of our control, but intelligent employees make an effort to control for these factors and adapt to their environment to ensure success in the workplace.
  8. Extreme individualists
    These candidates may exhibit traits or reveal examples of stubbornly adhering to certain ways which prevents them from fitting in with a company’s culture. These individuals are not open to change or adaptation, and should not be hired because they will always feel compelled to remind everyone that they are an independent and individual persona, and thereafter alienate themselves from the rest of the company.


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