IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Masha Masha is a content developer at IceHrm. You can contact her at masha[at]

Spotting Red Flags: Key Signs in Candidate Evaluation

  Reading Time:

Are you having an interview coming up for or on behalf of your company? If so, you might be a little nervous. After all, you have been entrusted with selecting the right applicant. This is a big responsibility that requires you to exercise your judgment.

If you select an applicant who is a good fit for your company, that will be a big plus for you. On the other hand, if you allow someone to develop into a bad employee, you will be the one who will be blamed.

In order to choose the right candidate from the many applications, you need to know exactly what to look for. Additionally, an average interview lasts between 45 and 90 minutes, which may not be enough time to evaluate an applicant.

In this article, we will discuss three aspects that can help you identify red flags in an applicant. Let's dive in.

1.Lack of eye contact

This is arguably one of the most important aspects to pay attention to. However, it is also possible to misinterpret things or pay too much attention to what a lack of eye contact means. Essentially, people tend to break eye contact or (the key word is "or") make extreme eye contact when they lie or distort the truth.

In the latter case, extreme eye contact occurs because the candidate knows that lack of eye contact is a red flag. However, it is not possible to practice natural eye contact in the time allotted to prepare for an interview.

Remember that you are looking for red flags and that a lack of eye contact is not a problem in itself. It's just a sign that the applicant isn't being completely open with you. Again, this is not a reliable indicator, so you should confirm your suspicions with further observations.

2.There is a discrepancy between self-expression and reality

This is more about finding out how serious or motivated a candidate appears to be about the position they are applying for. Often the words they say sound good, but try to notice a discrepancy between the way they present themselves and what they say verbally.

You can find out many things about the applicant indirectly. From your choice of interview attire to your tone of voice, the conclusions you draw about the applicant can be surprisingly accurate. For an applicant, an interview is a combination of an introduction and an audition.

It may be that he hits certain aspects well, but others not so well. This is completely right. Everyone wears a mask to give a better picture. You'll probably do the same when meeting important people or applying for interviews yourself. It becomes problematic when the mask is an attempt to manipulate you in order to be selected.

There's a fine line between impressing and deceiving, and it's important to pay attention not just to the words, but to the overall charisma.

3.You talk badly about previous employers and colleagues

Speak to a hiring manager and you'll know that this is one of the biggest red flags. On the one hand, it shows that employers and colleagues are always badmouthed. They have other people to thank for everything that went wrong with them or in their work. These are the type of applicants who are difficult to deal with when they become employees.

Of course, it's possible that their previous workplace was actually toxic and that what they said is true. If that's the case, there's no point in them trying to lie about it. Still, you can easily uncover exaggerations and biases through targeted questions.

This would be a good time to ask the question, "What would you have done if you were in your employer's shoes?"

4.You notice inconsistencies in employment history

Another red flag to watch out for is any inconsistencies or gaps in an applicant's employment history. Inconsistencies regarding dates of employment, job titles or responsibilities should be investigated further, especially if there is no plausible explanation.

Unexplained or extended gaps may raise questions about the applicant's commitment, reliability, or reasons for leaving previous positions. Review the applicant's resume and LinkedIn profile to get an accurate picture of their professional history. In fact, nearly 87% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to screen applicants.

If you notice any discrepancies, clarify them to ensure the candidate is accurately representing their work history.

5.Lack of ownership or accountability

Do you notice a lack of ownership or accountability in a candidate's actions and decisions? The signs of such an attitude are varied and range from making excuses for mistakes to shifting blame onto others to not accepting responsibility for meeting deadlines.

A person who does not accept or shifts responsibility lacks the reliability, integrity and initiative to contribute to a company. Watch out for this red flag and don't hire such employees.

Instead, look for people who are willing to take responsibility and acknowledge their opportunities for improvement. They can be a valuable asset to any company.


Hiring the right candidate for a job isn't something you do every day. The person you hire is often someone you want to see grow in your company or business. Bad hires, on the other hand, cost companies an average of $14,900.

It's okay to be a little picky (as long as you receive enough qualified applications) because the company's interests are your priority.

But also remember that red flags are not always what they seem. Interviews require a particular communication style that people are not used to.

Before you make a hasty judgment about an applicant, you can at least give them a leap of faith. In other words, trust but verify as much as possible.

Hiring the right candidate is vital. Learn to spot red flags, but also remember to trust but verify. Utilize tools like IceHrm for effective hiring.

Streamlining Recruitment Costs: 5 Efficient Techniques

Discover smart ways to cut hiring costs without sacrificing quality. From internal referrals to ATS software, explore efficient strategies now!...

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.