Wood Words

Trick or Treat? How to Avoid Hiring Scary Job Candidates

Every time you recruit, you’ll attract a wide range of candidates:

  • “A-level” talent – who will fit, perform and thrive;
  • mediocre candidates – who may or may not live up to your expectations;
  • nightmare applicants – who will turn into real horror stories if you unwittingly hire them.

Obviously, you can see where we’re going with today’s post!

Even experienced recruiters and HR professionals occasionally miss subtle cues that a candidate is bad news. Some job seekers are great at “playing the game”: hiding behind an interview facade; saying all the right things in the interview; and even skating through a reference check…

…only to become an absolute horror once hired.

How can you avoid hiring a nightmare candidate?

Unfortunately, they won’t wear a gory Halloween mask to their job interview. But as these hiring managers describe, sometimes a candidate’s scary behavior during the recruiting process practically screams “Don’t hire me!”:

The Unappreciative Applicant.

One Reddit contributor described a candidate who was offered a drink by the receptionist – and then began the interview by giving the interviewer a hard time about the employer’s choice to serve soda instead of flavored water.

The “Winner.”

One managing partner wrote, “I flew from NY to LA to interview someone who asked me to stand there in a hotel lobby so that she could finish the game of solitaire she was playing, because it looked like she was going to win.”

The Momma’s Boy.

On Reddit, one recruiter described a seemingly “fantastic” candidate who excused themselves just before compensation negotiations…and returned with his mother. No joke.

The Olfactory Offender.

One CEO described a candidate whose interview lasted all of five minutes – which was all the CEO could stand, because the the candidate’s perfume was so offensive. “I had to find some Lysol spray so I could continue my work day,” wrote the CEO.

The Web Whiner.

“The guy had a link to his personal website on his resume,” one Reddit contributor noted. “Visited the site after the interview. Listed under dislikes? My company.”

Fortunately, these hiring managers were able to spot problems with their candidates before they were hired. The best way for you to avoid a hiring horror story? Trust your search to Wood Personnel.

As Middle Tennessee’s recruiting leader, we match the entire candidate – skills, experience, work style and personality – to the needs of your available position. We weed out unqualified, unprofessional and otherwise “scary” candidates, so you can focus on interviewing and selecting top talent.

Make your next hire a dream come true.

Contact our Gallatin recruiting experts or your local Wood Personnel office.