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Screening Interviewing: Top 10 Red Flags

Phil DuBois

In the world of third party recruiting one of the most important task is that of screening. An in-depth interview survey revealing that as many as 75% of applicants misrepresent themselves or their skills. So, with this in mind, here are, in my opinion, the top ten red flags.

1. The Medusa. The applicant looks at every spec of dust in the interview room, yet avoids your gaze fearing they may turn to stone.

2. The Do as I Say Not as I Do. The applicant avidly insists any bad habits (swearing, chewing gum, sloppy appearance,etc.) are simply because "you're just the recruiter" and wouldn't happen with the employer. Right.

3. The Archie Bunker. An entrenched bitterness with life in general keeps surfacing and you find yourself just hoping they don't break anything on the way out. Also called the Don Rickles, Fred Sandford, George Steinbrenner.

4. The Noah's Ark. When you inquire after references, anyone, anywhere the applicant worked for has left the country, took a cruise on the S.S. Minnow or disappeared in a great flood.

5. The Dirty Harry. The applicant plays hard ball from minute one of the interview, usually respond to your welcome with "you know, I'm not really looking to change jobs". (Not surprisingly, there's a trail of employer conflicts).

6. The Chain Letter. The applicant responds to every yes/no question with a dissertation that makes War & Peace look like See Spot Run. Way more info than necessary. Also called the PhD.

7. The Lily Pad. The applicant rarely stays at one company for more than a year, usually citing boredom for the hopping. Extensive jumps without a new position lined up also called the Blind Frog.

8. The Chameleon. The applicant never answers any question directly. Usually smiles a lot but evades pointed questions hoping if they drone on long enough you'll forget what you asked. Also called the Bull Baffles flag.

9. The Donut. Applicant cannot produce any achievements or accomplishments in many years of employment. May look good on the outside but...Also accompanied but stages of the Chameleon and Noah's Ark. Performance is substantially undervalued. Also called the Canadian Dollar.

10. The Invisible Man. The applicant doesn't show for the interview, cell and home phone are out of order and no one recognizes the name at places of employment. Also called the Ghost.


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