From The Editor's Desk

Don’t Ignore The Red Flags In Interviews

Interviewing young college students can tell you a lot about how the majority of people interview in general. Because, even though we get a tad smoother, frankly, we don’t change much. We tend to rely a lot on the investment of education and job experience to sell ourselves in an interview. Yet, the biggest issue before us is what we say when we get in that interview. A resume could be blank, yet the face-to-face component can sink or swim whether a candidate gets hired or not.

I’ve heard a lot of interviews in my time. Mainly because of situations like Seattle University, where the number of job openings in the athletic department exploded due to the jump from Division II to Division I.

I also learned to listen to red flags. Sometimes, I forget how to do it, let my guard down, and end up hiring a problem child that I have to admit that I was wrong on. But as a whole, the red flags that jump out the most, are the most obviously, generally help me from making a bad decision in a hire.

Consider what people dress as the first assessment of the face-to-face. The idea that they don’t take it seriously, look like they roll out of bed to come to the meeting, I feel is telling. Especially since they got through 1-2 phone interviews to get to a face-to-face. Second is body language, being slumped over and using bad posture, makes me believe that they aren’t taking this seriously as well. Or they are less than interested in the job overall.

Last, of course is what they say. Not just how they phrase it, but what they say within the context of the conversation. If they sound plastic, or they don’t really give direct answers beyond the canned ones, it’s a red flag for me. Another is if they haven’t even read the job description thoroughly, so they don’t know what they would actually do once they come on-site. All of these should be enough not to hire a person, and generally, if they’ve evaded my red flag detector to this point, that’s why there are other folks in the room, during the hiring committee search.

Someone should be able to pick up the bad parts in any conversation, especially if the candidate isn’t giving anything but red flags. If not, that’s you selecting the wrong search committee, and you should really look into how you do that. That could be a red flag on your hiring methods as well.

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