Recruiters always have to be on the lookout for red flags when it comes to reviewing candidates. During the interview process, there are certain characteristics and kinds of behaviour that indicate the applicant is likely to bring down a team’s success. Sam Woolfe, a business writer writes on the 5 worst type of candidates that employers have to deal with.

  1. The Arrogant Type
There is often nothing worse than a candidate who is arrogant about their abilities and blind to their faults and shortcomings. When an interviewer asks the question, “What is your greatest weakness?” or something to that effect, any down-to-earth, honest and sensible candidate will respond with a genuine weakness and offer evidence as to what they’re doing to correct it. An arrogant applicant, on the other hand, may deny, downplay or divert attention away from what makes them a less-than-ideal candidate.

An arrogant candidate can be a nightmare to work with, as they can be unwilling to admit mistakes, which is the necessary first step in improving your skills and capacity to deliver high-quality results in the future. Arrogance is a sure fire way to undermine team rapport and foster tension and antagonism. Recruiters should, therefore, be mindful of the degree of self-awareness that candidates possess.

  1. Those Who Don’t Ask Questions
Interviewers don’t ask candidates questions at the end of the interview just to be polite and make small talk. It’s a chance for candidates to show their interest in the role and the company, to clarify anything that needs clarifying, and to gauge for themselves whether the position will be a good fit for them. If a candidate doesn’t have a single genuine question to ask the interviewer, then this is a sign that they haven’t seriously thought about the nature of the role or working for the company on a long-term basis.

Of course, we sometimes need to do jobs simply because we need the money and this may be the prevailing thought that goes through a candidate’s mind during the application process. However, realistically speaking, a recruiter will want to know why a candidate will be a valuable asset – and how they plan to progress in the role – beyond doing the bare minimum work to get paid.

  1. The Disinterested
Following from the previous point, not asking the interviewer any questions may suggest that they are disinterested in the position and what the company does. We can’t all love the jobs that we do (and most of us don’t) but again, realistically, a candidate has to demonstrate an authentic interest in some key aspect of the position and the company. If a candidate appears to be completely disinterested in the interview, then it is unlikely that they are going to put a high degree of effort into their work and stay focused.

When it comes down to it, if employers want to correct this issue of most employees being disengaged and unsatisfied in their work, then they should pay special attention to signs of disinterest during the application process. For instance, interviewers can spot how interested a candidate is based on their body language.

  1. The Cliché
As a recruiter, you want to find a candidate who stands out, who has something original to say and offer. What you want to avoid is a candidate who makes eye-rolling cliché statements in their job application and interview. The cliché candidate will depend on overused phrases and terms without being able to substantiate them in any meaningful way. Some examples would include words like ‘reliable’, ‘honest’, ‘team-player’ and ‘hardworking’.

Rather than being alert to whether a candidate uses these buzzwords, companies should expect candidates to use evidence that convinces them that they are indeed reliable, honest, a team player and hardworking. These attributes should speak for themselves during the application process based on actual examples of the candidate’s experience, results, and achievements.

  1. The Unreliable
An unreliable candidate is likely to come into work late, miss deadlines, forget to reply to emails, skip meetings, and generally let the team down. The degree to which a candidate is reliable can certainly be assessed based on their application and interview. In light of the point about cliché candidates, any reliable applicant should be able to cite proof that they are reliable, whether this is from a previous employer’s reference or, perhaps, an example of their proficiency at communication.

Beware of these five types of candidates. Seek out the candidate who encapsulates the opposite of these characteristics - the type of candidate who is humble, curious, passionate, impressively unique, and dependable.

Sam Woolfe writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.