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19 hiring managers share red flags they missed in the interview that cost them later.

19 hiring managers share red flags they missed in the interview that cost them later.


The job interview process can be a grueling exercise in small talk, exaggerating your skills, lying about how fast of a learner you are and choking down nerves...

It's easy to forget when you're the one in the hot seat, though, that being the interviewer isn't exactly an easy gig either.

So, when a Reddit user asked, 'Hiring managers, what red flag did you miss or ignore during an interview that ended up costing you later?' bosses everywhere were ready to share the obvious signs and signals they missed during the hiring process that could've helped them dodge a workplace mistake.


If someone tells you they are a 'free spirit' during the interview you're going to have some problems - calgarykid


One applicant had this weird, sort of arrogant body language during the interview. But, because they looked great on paper and otherwise interviewed okay, I wrote it off as anxiety or something. Joke's on me, because that person ended up being the whiniest, snottiest, most vile individual. Thank God they found another job before I had to let them go. - duffs007


Hired a guy to be a seller of cannabis products for a new dispensary I'm about to open. He was...eccentric to say the least. He has tons of experience as a salesman and definitely knows his sh*t. In the interview he got a little bit d*uchey about his salary and health benefits (this is the second interview, salary and benefits were to be discussed with the owners on the 3rd interview. We told him this.) Whatever.

We hired the guy, gave him his ideal salary plus commissions plus benefits. The whole package. First day he started giving me orders and asking where does he rank on the chain of command. I tell him I'm his boss and he doesn't like that so much. Whatever.

Then he started giving out candy to all the women in the office and telling them 'I was thinking about you...have some chocolate.' I told him that wouldn't fly here and he should cool it. He told me he was a 'social butterfly' and that I was uptight. This was all during his first week. Whatever.

The very next Monday (His 6th day on the job) I get called into the owner's office with the head of human resources and they straight up asks me what I think of the guy. Turns out all of the women that got the candy from him felt heavily harassed. Dude barely lasted a week on an awesome job because he was a 'social butterfly.' - RunDatTriangle


Not hiring manager but counseling co-worker. I said the lady we were to hire complained a bit too much about her current job and that I would let her go. They hired her. Guess who's complaining constantly and everyone's actively trying to avoid? - theofiel


Had to hire new people for the team. This guy came along with a ton of experience, pretty much spot on, there were some differences in code styles but that was that. Only thing was, the guy was around 15 years older than me and had 10 years of experience more.

I specifically asked him how he would be around someone much younger maybe making decisions that he might not like (I’m all up for democracy in projects, but sometimes there is more at play then specifics, as a dev I know what those are like). He told me he was and that we could just talk about it when it came up.

Turned out I was arguing over every little thing in a ‘his way or the highway’ kind of deal. Should have seen that one coming in hindsight - enplanedrole


A couple of seventeen-year-old boys were dropped off by their father [in a compact, red Porsche convertible, not that it's relevant] with frozen yogurt cups in their hands. The older one walked up to the desk, and, with froyo in his mouth, asked 'Can I get an application?'

The brothers spent almost half an hour eating frozen yogurt, laughing and joking with each other, and filling out that application in our lobby. It was maybe a five-minute application.

When they handed their applications to me, I took them [the applications, not the applicants] back to our brand new HR lady and, laughing, told her about these kids who were obviously only looking for jobs because daddy made them do it. I pointed out a sticky thumbprint on one of the applications. It was funny to me and she laughed along with me.

She hired both of them on the spot. Before that point, applicants were required to have a minimum of three years' experience in whatever field they were applying for. Neither of these kids had ever had a job before. That place went downhill rapidly - LobbyJockey


Personalized, hand written thank you notes for each of the 6 interviewers on Tiffany’s note paper and envelopes. Made me suspicious at the time. Chose to ignore the warning signs. Huge regret now- most toxic personality I’ve ever experienced. - cbdoc


I actually hired someone who was late for the interview. Her apology was totally reasonable and I looked past it because she seemed like a good fit. A few weeks into the job it came out that she didn’t know what time zone we were in.

That’s not the reason she was late, but it did turn out that her understanding of time and clocks was insufficient for a job where scheduling things across time zone was a primary responsibility. - TheSource88


I recently worked under a supervisor who had been out of the industry for several years but was trying to make a move back in. During his interviews, he apparently directed his answers only to the men in the room, even if the question was asked by a woman.

They hired him anyway, and once he started, he refused to work with the women on the team - even though they knew more of the industry, since it had changed quite a bit since this guy had left. Thankfully he was let go about a year after he was hired. - LovelyOtherDino


Everytime someone brought up in an interview 'what's the fastest anyones been promoted here? I want to break that record!' They end up being duds - fffw001


'He has family in upper management.' Laziest person I've ever hired. His dad was an exec. - IMENKIDU


I used to do hiring for a small store and the biggest red flags were 'too good to be true.' Candidates who claimed they loved the public, never had any problems with coworkers, and were never late or absent invariably caused the biggest problems because they were lying through their teeth. - turingtested


Applicant wasn't looking for this exact position, but rather was running away from her previous career. Was an interesting person with lot of potential, though. Didn't fit in, was dissatisfied with everything and two years later left. - [deleted]


People who speak in superlatives rather than answering questions directly. Turns out the guy while super excited to work for me really didn't understand the role. I ended up firing him the last day of his 90-day probation period despite spending an enormous amount of time with him trying to get him right. - [deleted]


One candidate gave some very thoughtful, insightful criticisms of his current workplace. We appreciated his candor, and the content of the critiques were perceptive. When we hired him, we realized that while he spoke well and appeared intelligent, all he could is criticize everything... even when his criticisms made no sense.

We started to see him complaining about the same things with us that he complained about in his letter, even things that were objectively false (like our vacation policy being use-it-or-lose-it, which it literally wasn't). Moral: a good candidate will find ways to frame criticisms in a positive, forward-looking way in a cover letter, not complain about their current employer. - Moltrire


I asked what teamwork meant to her. She said it made the dreamwork. I hired her. Turned out dreams do not in fact work - b*tch_whip_bill


I saw this kid's resume. And I cannot emphasize enough when I say it was the worst I have ever seen. He used emojis. No grammar check. Multiple spelling mistakes. Saying his violent video game experience would help him calm down irate customers (it was a coffee shop).

I told the manager not to hire him. To the point where the resume (and eventually the guy) became a joke among staff members. He got hired because his mom that worked with us begged the manager. He got fired for doing ac*d in the kitchen - heck_abird


Too happy and friendly, as strange as that sounds. We all thought she just seemed too jazzed on life but did not want to seem like salty b*tches so we shrugged it off. A week later I fired her for doing absolutely nothing.

Literally nothing. She would complete a task and sit there doing nothing. Day three she brought a book to work, I thought it was because she read at lunch. Nope. Read when she was bored after stopping working.

She was happy as heck the whole time. Deeply oblivious to that this was not the way of things. I did not have the time or grace to rewire her so back to pizza hut she went. - caitlinthecupboard


My SO hired some guy for a store he was working at many years ago. I have an intuition about most people. I get a 'feeling' like anyone but I'm usually spot on. This guy was a real piece of work and I picked up on it quickly.

I kept telling SO to fire him before shit got really bad and lo and behold this fella takes money out of the deposit bag to 'recount it because he didn't trust SO had done it properly' and $1000 went missing. Needless to say my SO got the brunt of the pain from upper management and this pile of liver turds was finally fired. Next time... LISTEN TO ME. - irescueteddybears

Sources: Reddit
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