There’s no denying that finding the right candidate to fill your vacancy can be tough.

In the past, I’ve interviewed a candidate who looked great on paper and really impressed at interview so I’ve taken them on, convinced they were the right option… only to find out that I’d made a terrible decision.

The issue? It seems the candidate in question wasn’t really interested in the business I was working for, had a terrible work ethic and couldn’t actually do the job I was paying them to do. Yes, they had a great personality and fitted in socially with other members of staff, but in terms of being a reliable employee, it just wasn’t the right fit.

Now, I’m sure I’m not the only person who has experienced the above situation. The problem is that a lot of the time, the candidate that applies and interviews is actually very different to the candidate that turns up for work on their first day. While a candidate can have the best CV and be charming and convincing at interview stage, when it comes to day-to-day work, it can be a very different story.

The problem is that sussing them out before you take them on is definitely easier said than done. That said; there are a few things you can watch out for next time you’re interviewing a potential candidate which should give you a hint that that they’re not necessarily the right option.

interview prepartion1. They Have No Idea What Your Business Does:

If a candidate turns up and has no idea what your business is called, what it does and how it makes money, then there’s a pretty strong chance they’re not the best option for your vacancy. OK, so some business models are tough to understand – but the candidate should still have made some effort to get their head around it and research your business if they genuinely want the position. If you have to spend more time explaining what your business does, rather than questioning the candidate about their suitability for the role, you may be in trouble.

2. They’re More Interested In The Benefits:

Another sure sign that the candidate isn’t necessarily the right choice is if they spend more time asking you about what the benefits are when working for your business, rather than asking about the future of your business and how they might be able to progress. Remember, benefits are a bonus and should come secondary to the work involved and the business expectations, particularly when it comes to interview stage.

3. They Don’t Share Your Business Values:

Every business has its own set of ethics and values – so it’s important to make sure that the candidate you take on can relate to these values – if they can’t, they’re going to find it hard to fit in and you’re going to struggle to keep them in your business. When interviewing, keep an ear out for anything the candidate says which might clash with your business values – and if necessary, feel free to question them on it. For example, if your business is all about team work – and the candidate openly admits they prefer to work on their own, alarm bells should start to ring – so you might want to reconsider how well they’ll fit in with your business.

4. They Have No Questions Pre-Prepared Regarding Your Business:

A candidate who has a genuine interest in your business and an interest in the position in question should always have some questions prepared ahead of time regarding the role. Why? Because it’s highly unlikely you’ll cover everything they need/want to know in the interview – and some questions should just appear naturally as the conversation progresses. And if a candidate has a real desire to stay at your business for a while and make it work, they’ll want to know all there is to know, particularly at the initial interview stage. Just to clarify; that’s not to say you should disregard them completely if they have no questions pre-prepared, but it’s definitely something to consider.

5. Your Gut Tells You They’re Not Right:

When it comes to taking on new staff, sometimes you just get a gut feeling about a particular candidate and their suitability – and I’d always urge you to go with it. Sometimes there’ll be a niggling doubt somewhere in the back of your mind that you can’t quite put your finger on regarding their suitability – and, in my experience, that doubt is always there for a reason and shouldn’t be ignored. At the end of the day, it’s your business that’s going to be affected – so you need to make the right decision. If your gut tells you they’re not right, 99% of the time they won’t be – so take note!