Resume and Interview Red Flags for Employers | Glassdoor|Resume and Interview Red Flags for Employers | Glassdoor
Hand holding a red flag isolated on white background.

Resume and Interview Red Flags That Can't Be Ignored

Job seekers aren’t the only ones that have to be careful when it comes to resumes and interviews. Hiring managers and human resources professionals have to make sure they catch those red flags hidden in the content of resumes and the body language and actions of the interviewing candidates.

“Even tenured people who have been at companies for years and years still have mistakes” in their resumes, says  Janet Elkin, chief executive of staffing firm Supplemental Healthcare. “When looking at resumes and there’s some real flaws it tells you they are not right” for the job.

Resume and Interview Red Flags

From misspellings to inconsistencies here’s a look at six red flags hiring managers can’t ignore.

Misspellings and Typos

Everyone knows that misspellings, missing words and inaccurate state abbreviations are big no no’s when it comes to resumes but it still happens all the time. And it’s not only people right out of college who are making this major snafu. According to Elkin even tenured people who have been at a company for years leave typos and misspellings in their resume.

So what should this red flag tell you about the candidate? Not only that they didn’t take the time to proof their resume but that they don’t care that much about the job to begin with, say HR experts.

Claims That Don’t Hold Truth

HR people know job seekers are going to try and shine the best light possible, but when there are inconsistencies on their resume or in what they say during an interview, it’s usually a sign that shouldn’t be ignore. According to Steve Browne, executive director of HR for LaRosa's Inc, often people will list their accomplishments on their resume such as I increased sales by 25% but when asked to explain how they did that during the interview, they have no answer. “The resume gets you inside door. The interview should match what you say,” says Browne.

Lack of Knowledge About Their Resume

Interviewers know people are nervous on an interview but if your job candidate can’t answer questions based on their resume then that’s a huge red flag that the person isn’t being genuine, says Patricia Sweeney, human resource manager at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care. “I have interviewed people and asked questions based on information provided in the resume, such as ‘I see you were responsible for managing a team of 6 on a project. Give me some examples of how you kept them on task.’ Only to have a candidate ask, ‘Which project was that?’” says Sweeney. At best the person seems unprepared, at worst it’s a big clue he or she didn’t even write the resume.

Poor Body Language & Eye Contact

The body language of the person interviewing for a position can tell the hiring manager a lot about the person. For instance someone who can’t or won’t make eye contact may have something to hide or isn’t that interested in the job to begin with, says Elkin. Someone who can’t put in the effort to sit up straight or doesn’t dress appropriately for the interview can signal he or she won’t go the extra mile if they are hired.

The Candidate Who Doesn’t Stop Talking

Yes hiring managers want an in-depth answer to the question “tell me what you did in your last job” but if the person interviewing takes twenty five minutes to answer that question it may be a glaring red flag to avoid hiring this person, says Browne. “I look to see do you listen, are you responsive, do you give answers that aren’t catch phrases,” says Browne. “When people start using catch phrases it shows they can’t express what they do.”

No Clue About Culture

Thanks to Websites like Glassdoor there is no excuse for ignorance about the company and its culture. But if you run into someone that hasn’t taken the time to do their homework before the interview, it’s a telltale sign they are lazy or disinterested. After all it only takes a few minutes to do a google search. Not to mention, as Sweeney points out, all of the information is usually readily available on the hiring company’s own website.