Yesterday, we examined 3 qualities you want in a new marketing hire. Today, we consider the opposite side of that equation.

There’s nothing worse for a manager than hiring the wrong person. It takes time and energy away from accomplishing your task. They eventually leave and you’re forced to start the search for a replacement from scratch.

If only there were surefire ways to avoid making the wrong decision. Well, there aren’t. Even the best companies make mistakes when it comes to hiring.

But there are toxic qualities that you can screen for in order to give yourself the best chance of making the right choice. When it comes down to several candidates and they all meet the skills and experience requirements set out in your job description, look out for these negative qualities:

  1. Overly critical of others – it comes naturally for some in an interview setting to throw their old boss, company, or coworkers under the bus. But when a candidate does this, it should be a red flag. This person may not be a team player. They may not be as agile or as adaptable as you need them to be. When things don’t go their way, will they go running for the hills?
  2. Short on details – it’s easy to look good on paper, but your candidates should be able to back it up in person. Ask them for specific ideas on how to solve common problems they’ll encounter with your company. Broad, overly vague answers signal someone who is overselling their experience on their resume.
  3. Focused on rewards/incentives – we all know the candidates who come in with one question right away, how much will I make? That’s a red flag in the interview process, especially when it happens early on. Steer clear of candidates who don’t first want to know how they can help you. They’re only in it for themselves.
  4. Unprepared – the best hires will be brand advocates for your company moving forward, and will likely show up to the first interview with lots of questions about how they will fit into the strategy going forward. That’s because they do the research, and they’re passionate about the company’s future success. Beware the candidate who has done very little homework and has no questions for you. They’re just looking for any job they can get.

The US Department of Labor estimates the cost of a bad hire at about 30% of the person’s first-year salary. Don’t get sucked into the trap.