Bad hires can have a serious negative impact on an organization. In addition to resources being wasted on someone who turns out to be a bad employee, there’s also the impact to productivity, morale and company culture.

The problem is, negative employees can be difficult to spot in the interview process. They may still have impressive credentials, carry themselves confidently and give good responses to technical interview questions. There are warning signs that show up during the interview process, but they can be easy to miss.

Consider the following tips for spotting a negative employee during the interview process.

Probe for Past Toxicity

One good way to pick out whether or not a candidate could be toxic is to ask them questions that lead to ‘toxic’ answers. For instance, asking them for the five things they least liked about a previous job could reveal if they had clashes with management. Asking for five, rather than just one thing, they didn’t like can push them to reveal more honest answers, since they may have one or two preplanned responses.

Ask About Handling Adversity

One kind of negative employee is someone who always plays the victim, who thinks anything that went bad was someone else’s mistake. Asking candidates to talk about an experience in which results did not turn out as planned is a good way to see how they react to adversity. If they mostly blame others and never admit their own share of the blame, it’s a major sign they might do everything they can to avoid blame at your company, if hired.

Ask About Handling Success

Also, when you ask someone about adversity, it can often trigger a defensive response. Asking about success, on the other hand, is often a good way to get people to let their guard down.

When you ask candidates about success in previous jobs, listen for the words ‘us’ and ‘we.’ Some negative employees are the way they are because they are too self-centered. Someone who readily shares credit is someone you should want on your team.

Ask About Job Highlights

Some people are become employees because they take a job for superficial reasons, such as a paycheck or certain perks. Obviously, you want to hire candidates who are passionate about what they do and the chance to contribute to your company, and not because you pay well or have a cool brand.

Asking employees about the best parts of a past job can tell you something about their values, and if they’re applying for the right reasons. For instance, if a candidate starts talking about going to conferences in Las Vegas or regularly meeting co-workers at happy hour, you’re probably not talking to someone who is passionate about their career.

At Action Group Staffing, we help our clients quickly eliminate bad-fit and unqualified candidates from the process, so the best-available candidate can be quickly hired. If your company is currently looking for a custom talent acquisition solution, please contact us today.

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