When a job has been vacant for far too long, the temptation to fill it with the next person who can fog a mirror can lead you to ignore your instincts. Don’t. They are there to help you and to prevent the weeks of work it’ll take to terminate that person who fogged up glass, but might completely flub up the job.
There’s more to this story
When your gut tells you there’s more than the answer they’re giving you, pay attention. It could be nothing or it could be an indicator that they are hiding the truth.
That doesn’t add up
Ask more questions and dig deeper if you can’t connect the dots. Consider the reasons A doesn’t get you to B and see if you can find out more by going down a different path.
That’s an odd weakness
“I work too much” is not a real weakness and if they’re giving you fluff now, what else is coming? Try a targeted interviewing question instead of “Tell me a weakness”.
One team member won’t like her
One person can spoil the work of an entire team and rather than deal with this issue later this might be a person to pass on while you continue looking.
The former employer is tight lipped
If you make a reference check and they say they’d rehire and verify salary and that’s it, it might be a red flag that there’s negative news they’re not telling you.
We don’t click like we should
If there’s no click, there’s a misalignment of something that may be valuable to the company, even if not to you personally.
That’s more personal than I needed
Telling a story is fine in an interview. Telling one’s life story may indicate they’ll struggle with maintaining professionalism.
Your instincts are often disguised as the voices in your head. They have value. Listening to them can make the difference between hiring a star performer and employing a team destroyer. We all talk to ourselves and even when you’re in an interview and doing most of the speaking, those pesky little voices that nag at you are still active. Listen to them. They don’t always tell you the whole story, but they’re there for a reason.
We’ve also all made decisions that went against our instincts and some were not so bad, but the usual outcome of ignoring any combination of these signals is not so good.
Factor your instincts into your interviews and let them guide you. Listen. Dig deeper. Avoid making snap decisions just to fill the role and check that item off of your lengthy list of things to do. When you do listen and you articulate the reasons for them, they’ll prepare you to make a more informed choice with a hire that not only fills the vacancy, but fills in the gap in performance.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development expert, CEO of Contagious Companies, and author of Make Difficult People Disappear. The original version of this post appeared on her website, www.ContagiousCompanies.com.