5 Resume and Interview Red Flags Recruiters Won’t Ignore

Red Flag Warnings for RecruitersEvery year, hiring managers and HR professionals read thousands of resumes. They know what to look for in a good way. And they sure know how to find the red flags that may indicate a less-than-desirable candidate.

Should they miss a red flag that goes beyond misspellings or typos, no worries; they have an entire job interview to uncover what you are trying to hide.

Here’s a look at five of those red flags hiring managers can’t, or won’t, ignore.

Claims That Don’t Hold the Truth

HR people know job seekers are going to try and shine the best light possible, but when there are inconsistencies on their resume or in what they say during an interview, it’s a sign that shouldn’t be ignored.

According to Steve Browne, executive director of HR for LaRosa’s Inc, people will often list accomplishments on their resume such as, “I increased sales by 25%” but when asked to explain how they did that during the interview, they have no answer.

“The resume gets you inside door. The interview should reinforce the resume,” says Browne.

Lack of Knowledge About Their Resume

Interviewers understand people are nervous, but if you’re job candidate that can’t answer questions based on your resume that’s a huge red flag that the person isn’t being genuine.

Says Patricia Sweeney, human resource manager at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care: “I have interviewed people and asked questions based on information provided in the resume, such as ‘I see you were responsible for managing a team of 6 on a project. Give me some examples of how you kept them on task.’ Only to have a candidate ask, ‘Which project was that?’” says Sweeney. At best the person seems unprepared, at worst it’s a big clue he or she didn’t even write the resume.

Poor Body Language and Eye Contact

The body language of the candidate, in just a few moments, can tell the hiring manager a lot about the person. For instance someone who can’t or won’t make eye contact may have something to hide or isn’t that interested in the job to begin with, says Elkin. Someone who can’t put in the effort to sit up straight or doesn’t dress appropriately for the interview can signal he or she won’t go the extra mile if they are hired.

The majority of our communications are done through non-verbal means. Candidates who are aware of this can avoid raising careless, even lazy, red flags.

The Candidate Who Doesn’t Stop Talking

Yes, hiring managers want an in-depth answer to the question “tell me what you did in your last job.” But if the person interviewing takes twenty-five minutes to answer… that goes beyond thorough, and well into “please shut up.”

Says Browne: “I look to see: do you listen, are you responsive, do you give answers that aren’t catch phrases,” says Browne. “When people start using buzzwords it shows they can’t express what they do in a unique way that demonstrates value.”

Clueless About Culture

Thanks to sites like Glassdoor, there is no excuse for ignorance about the company and its culture. But if a recruiter runs into someone that hasn’t taken the time to do their homework before the interview, it’s a telltale sign they are lazy or disinterested.

It only takes a few minutes to do a Google search. Not to mention, as Sweeney points out, all of the information is usually readily available on the hiring company’s own website and on their social media accounts. Take the time necessary to learn the culture, or the red flags will fly.

These red flags may seem obvious; they may even be a cliche. And yet, they happen… all the time. Don’t let them happen to you. Go out of your way to demonstrate that you are a candidate worthy of serious consideration!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Glassdoor!




Donna-FulscaldoAbout the Author: Donna Fuscaldo is a freelance journalist who writes for numerous online publications including FoxBusiness.com, Bankrate.com, AARP.com, Insurance.com and Houselogic.com. As a personal finance reporter, Donna provides invaluable advice on everything from saving money to landing a dream job. She also writes a weekly column for FoxBusiness.com focused on technology for small businesses. Previously, Donna was an equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires and a special contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Through the Glassdoor Blog, Donna provides tips on how to find a job and, more importantly, to keep it. Follow Donna on Twitter!



This entry was posted in Job Search, Resumes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.