Red Flag Answers Are Warning Signs

Red Flag Comments

Red flag comments are big warning signs for interviewers. It can be an innocent slip of the tongue, or an indication of something more troubling about the eventual attitude or thought process of an employment candidate, if hired.

Interviewing young college students for a sales position can actually tell you a lot about how the majority of people interact in general conversations. Despite perhaps getting a tad smoother or more jaded toward questions, the vast amount of interviewees don’t change much when asked to provide a detailed answer.

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.

Learn To Listen For Red Flag Answers

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

Consider how people dress as the first assessment of the face-to-face. The idea that they don’t take it seriously, looking like they rolled 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 also makes me believe that they aren’t taking this seriously. It seems like they are less than interested in the job overall.

Not Just What They Say, But How They Say It

What matters is the context within the conversation answer. If they sound plastic, or if they don’t really give direct answers beyond the canned ones, that’s a red flag to 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 a red flag indicator. 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 about your hiring methods as well.

troy kirby

Troy Kirby is the creator of the Sports Sales Boot Camp. He will host the 2016 Sports Sales Boot Camp at ALSD in Pittsburgh.

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