10 Red Flags to Watch for in an Interview

When it comes to hiring staff for your veterinary practice, the more careful and diligent you are, the more likely you’ll be to end up with team members who are the ideal fit for your business. In addition to knowing what qualities, experience and skills you are looking for in a potential employee, it can also be helpful to know what not to look for. That is, what things could be warning signs that a certain candidate simply isn’t going to be a good fit? Here are 10 potential red flags to watch for during the interview process.

Unprofessional presentation. You may operate under a practice philosophy that is laid back and casual, but the interview process should be about making a stellar first impression. That doesn’t necessarily mean your candidates have to show up wearing three-piece suits, but they should at least look polished and present themselves and their qualifications in a professional manner.

Avoiding eye contact. Obviously your main goal is to find candidates for your practice who love to work with animals, but it’s equally important that your staff is able to also interact with human clients as well. Someone who struggles to make or maintain eye contact during an interview may just be shy, or it could be that they’re hiding something. Either way, it’s something that may ultimately hinder his or her ability to perform the job well.

Erratic job history. The economy hasn’t exactly been great over the past decade or so, but a resume that has a large number of gaps in employment or a wide variety of unrelated job titles could be indicative of a person who has trouble staying put. Unless you’d like to go through the hassle of hiring new staff every six months or so, be wary of erratic work histories. At the very least, it warrants an explanation.

Negative attitude. If the person you are interviewing spends the majority of the allotted time badmouthing his or her previous employer or complaining about past jobs, it’s likely you’ll be dealing with the same negative attitude (and subsequent morale killer) if you bring that person on to work at your practice.

They don’t seem to listen well. Getting off topic or answering a question incorrectly could easily be the product of nerves, but be aware of the candidate who never seems to hear what you’re asking them. This type of behavior could become a serious issue should you decide to hire that person.

Inability to back up claims. Chances are you’re looking for someone who possesses certain experience, education or other noteworthy skill sets. Keep in mind, however, that just because something’s written down in a resume doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Always ask questions and check references. The last thing you want to end up with is someone who wasn’t forthcoming and lacks the qualifications necessary to perform the job in question well.

Missing information. No home address or other missing details, like degree information or employment dates, could be a simple oversight. It could also indicate that the candidate has something to hide and could be lying by omission. Always probe deeper whenever there is a question about information provided.

Overconfidence. You obviously want someone who knows what he or she is doing and is confident in his or her ability, but overdoing it by bragging or talking too much during the interview process could be a sign that the person you are interviewing might be arrogant and therefore not a good fit in a team setting.

No questions for you. Most hiring managers open up the end of the interview to invite questions from the candidate. It’s not an absolute deal-breaker if the person you’re evaluating doesn’t have anything to ask, but keep in mind that it could be an indicator that he or she is either unprepared or uninterested in the position.

They’re late or they cancel. Things happen, so keep an open mind, but also be aware that someone who shows up late or keeps rescheduling doesn’t really value the time of the recruiter. Ask the reason why but go with your gut. If it doesn’t seem like a viable excuse or it happens more than once, move on.

Hiring staff for your veterinary practice is an important management task. By knowing what things to keep watch for during the recruiting and interview process, you’ll be better able to weed out those candidates who don’t seem to be the best fit and narrow your selection to include only those who do.

Don’t have the time, resources or patience to spend locating, recruiting and hiring qualified staff? Don’t leave it to chance. Give us a call and let’s discuss how we can assist with all of your practice staffing needs.