Episode 328: Interview Warning Signs: 6 Red Flags to Watch Out for During the Hiring Process

red flags
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Just like dating, hiring can be a beautiful thing. You fall in love, get married and have children. For a while there's nothing but bliss in your marriage — then it all falls apart. You're devastated and heartbroken over the loss of something so great. But what if there was a way to avoid all of that devastation? The problem is, most people don't pay attention to the red flags until they've already lost everything.
In this latest episode of Bella In Your Business: Pet Industry Business Podcast, we take a closer look at six key red flags that should be on your radar during the hiring process. This episode provides useful insights and a new perspective on the hiring process, whether you're a seasoned HR expert or a job seeker searching for your next career move. By tuning in, you'll gain valuable advice on how to identify red flags and avoid costly mistakes in the hiring process. Enjoy!

Topics Discussed and Key Points

  • The six red flags
  • Red flags that you see in real life also happen when hiring
  • The hiring process and marketing are just like the dating process
  • It’s important to hire employees who are dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate.
  • What have we normalized that we shouldn’t have?
  • Why it is important to be professional during the interviewing process


[00:04] Introducing today’s topic
[03:30] Why hiring process and marketing are like a dating process
[03:24] The six red flags
[07:31] Lack of preparation
[10:26] Poor communication skills
[13:13] A negative attitude
[15:03] Dishonesty
[16:41] Lack of enthusiasm
[17:58] Inappropriate behavior
[19:33] Recap

Notable Quotes

[00:03:29] “Not only is hiring the wrong person going to hurt your company culture, the person would basically be a bad apple, but it’ll also cost you money and put them through hours of onboarding and training that you’ll have to do.” [00:03:49]
[00:04:20] “If you pick the right people, you should be happy to train them because you’re investing in your biggest asset, which is your personnel.” [00:04:30]
[00:04:57] “When you’re dating, you’re looking for someone who shares your values, your interests and your vision for the future. Right? You want someone who’s going to make you feel comfortable, who you can trust, and who you can see building a life with. This is a.k.a building your business with. When you’re interviewing a candidate for the job, you’re looking for many of the same things.” [00:05:18]
[00:07:33] “If an interviewee has not taken the time to research the company or the role, it might be a sign that they’re not fully committed to the position.” [00:07:40]
[00:17:47] “You want someone enthusiastic about the job just like you want someone enthusiastic to take you out on a date.” [00:17:54]

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Welcome back to another episode of Bella in your business. My name is Bella vasta. And today we’re going to talk all about red flags. Yes, sir, really, those red flags that you might see in real life also happen when hiring, we are on a big hiring, stretch of topics. Last time, we talked all about benefits, and you guys seem to really like that, I got a lot of feedback saying that you hadn’t thought about the benefits that you could offer. And realize now that you know, in this day and age, you do need to be addressing what kind of benefits there are to working for your company. And also, it does seem that we were able to, you know, kind of get you thinking that benefits do not need to sound like a really big expensive benefit package that you might get at a big corporation and that you too as a small business owner do have benefits. And you do need to market them to attract new people. So if you guys did not hear our last episode, go ahead and go back to that episode. And I also want, to ask you, I haven’t asked, I’m giving you all this information. And this is a teaching podcast. But I would love for you to hit subscribe, please hit subscribe, it would help us tremendously. And if you like what you hear and you feel like it might help people that you know, maybe your local networking pet sitting or dog walking group, maybe a local group that you have online, you’re part of a Facebook group, I would love it, if you would share the episode in there, I would be eternally grateful. And that would be the biggest thing that you could do to say thank you if you are enjoying these episodes, so do not forget to like and subscribe to the episodes.
Now today is going to be fun. Because if you have been on this journey with me or if you have already known me, you’re not just getting to know me, you know that I consider the hiring process, much like the dating process. And because it is. But it also is marketing, which is why in better marketing with Bella, the doors are gonna be opening in about a month. So I’ve been waiting to get in there. Good news. It’s, it’s coming soon. So stay tuned. But, you know, even in better marketing with Bella, it’s why, you know, most people think of marketing as marketing for clients. But marketing is also marketing for employees, right? It’s how are we attracting them. And so nothing different than a bumble Tinder match.com hinge profile, or just good old fashioned being out at the bar, or, you know, out at coffee or somewhere where you meet somebody, you want to, like put your best foot forward, right? You want to appear attractive in all the ways that that word can be used. And, while we’re doing that, we also need to be aware. And while we’re being aware, we need to know what what what flags to look for.
So like, Have you ever been on an interview, and you’re just not sure if they’re the right person for the job? But you’re so desperate and you didn’t really have many other qualified applicants, that you just decided to take a chance. That’s like the worst thing you could do. Because what happens is, then you’re in the Facebook groups complaining and saying that hiring doesn’t work. Because really, the system was broken, you didn’t see the red flags, you hired the wrong person. And we just need to tweak it. Like, that’s all you got to do. You got to make sure you have a ton of applicants. And then you need to know what you’re looking for. So I want you to reframe your thoughts on this today, not only is hiring the wrong person going to hurt your company culture, which we also talked about a few episodes ago, by the person would be a bad apple. But it will also cost you money and put them through hours of onboarding and training that you’ll have to do. And that’s another objection I hear too. They go oh, well, Bella, I’m gonna wait to make sure that they work out 30 or 60 days, and then I’ll invest in pet care team training or whatever other training you guys do that, you know, cost money. And I’m like, wait a minute. So what you’re saying is to prove yourself to me. I don’t believe in you yet. And you have to be a show circus monkey proving yourself to me. Yeah, training does cost money. That is a fact of running a business. Guess what, it’s also an expense, which is good. And if you pick the right people, you should be happy to train them because you’re investing in your biggest asset, which is your personnel. So I want you I want you to think about you know, this whole thing is dating. They don’t open the door red flag. They don’t ask you about yourself a red flag. They don’t react nicely to you disagreeing with them or saying no red flag. Well, it’s like literally the same thing in interviewing, interviewing is dating. And the likability process throughout is double-sided. And it’s marketing like I was saying.
So think about it. Like when you’re dating. You’re looking for someone who shares your values, your interests, and your vision for the future, right? You want someone who’s going to make you feel comfortable, who you can trust, and who you can see building a life with. This is aka building your business. When you’re interviewing a candidate for the job, you’re looking for many of the same things you want someone who shares your company’s values, who has the skills and the experience that you need, and who you can see yourself working with long term who you’re you’re proud to give them a t-shirt with your logo, which represents your blood, sweat, and tears, and be like, Go represent me, you want someone who’s going to fit in with your team, and who’s going to be reliable and trustworthy, and who you can see yourself bit building a business with. And just like dating, the interview process can be nerve-wracking and depressing even, if you want to make a good impression on the candidate, just like you want to make a good impression on a potential partner. You might worry about saying the wrong thing, or whether or not they like you. But just like dating, it’s important to take the time to get to know the person you’re interviewing. That’s the biggest mistake I see. So many business owners making. They just like after the first date, they’re like, Okay, great, fill out this application, let’s get married. It’s like what? You know nothing about this person. So if you’re one of those people that you know, ask them a couple of questions and have them fill out an application, talk to them on the phone, trust your gut, and hire him, I got news for you to listen up. That’s not a successful way to do it. Your gut is not scalable, just like dating, you know, if something feels off about the candidate, and you don’t feel like they’re a good fit, it’s okay to say no. Just like you wouldn’t want to date someone who doesn’t like you know, feel good. You don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t feel good. But feeling good we’re going to quantify. In our next episode, we’re going to talk about standardized scoring systems and how you can translate your gut into scientific numbers that someone else can interview and hire as if they were you because we’re going to break it down that way. So all right, I think we’ve established that interviewing and hiring are the same things.
Let’s get into the Six Flags, the Six Flags sorry, the red flags. The first one, the first red flag that I want you to be aware of, is lack of preparation. If an interviewee has not taken the time to research the company or the role, it might be a sign that they’re not fully committed to the position. Something that I always do in all of my interview processes is give them the like, the last line of the initial email is, and here’s our website, and you can find our socials through there, feel free to check us out and learn more. That person if they want to impress us and become a part of our company. They’re going to do their due diligence. They’re going to learn about our company. Okay? So when the like here’s, here’s another example, as the interview II arrives at the office a few minutes before the scheduled interview time. They look slightly disheveled and frazzled, as they enter the room and this could also be on Zoom they glanced around nervously taking in the decor and pet-related items on display. When you greet them, you ask them how they’re doing. They respond with a good before like nervously fidgeting in their seat. All of a sudden, you feel this nervous energy right? As you begin to ask them questions about their experience and qualifications. The interviewee appeals to struggle to find the right words, they’re stumbling over their answers giving vague, nonspecific responses. When you ask them about their knowledge of your company and its services. They seem confused and struggled to recall the information you sent them in the email. Maybe they recite back some generic stuff that like you know, any dog-walking company would qualify for it. It becomes clear that the interviewee has not done any research on your company or the role they’re interviewing for. They’re not able to provide specific examples of their experience or how it relates to the job, and they seem to lack a clear understanding of the company’s mission. As the interview progresses, the interviewee becomes more and more flustered, making it difficult to assess the qualifications and suitability for the position. Now some of you would see this and be like, Oh, they’re just nervous, all given the benefit of the doubt. Oh, I need somebody so we’re just going to pretend we don’t care. What goes through my head is like I’m hiding my head in my hands, in my you know, in my thoughts, not in front of them. And I’m thinking oh my gosh, I could never picture this person in front of one of my clients. Overall, the interviewees lack preparation and as is evident in their demeanor and their inability Need to answer questions clearly and concisely. It suggests that they’re not fully committed to the position, and they’re just looking for a job. As a pet-sitting and dog-walking business owner, it’s important to hire employees who are dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate. I don’t need to tell you that. But I am I’m going to read I’m going to state the obvious here.
Another red flag. So that one was all about, you know, lack of preparation, they had no idea what your company was about. Another one is poor communication skills. If they have difficulty expressing themselves clearly or struggled to answer questions, it might be a sign that they’re not the best fit for the role. So maybe they arrive on time they introduce themselves, you notice that they speak softly, or like really quickly, and it’s just really difficult to catch their name. As the interview progresses, you ask them a series of questions about their experiences and qualifications, but they struggle to provide clear and concise answers. They like kind of unsure of themselves, and there’s no beginning, middle, or end to their stories. They appear nervous and unsure of themselves. They pause a lot to collect their thoughts before answering. I once had a person that would like to look up into the sky every single time. And I almost felt like that scene. I think this scene is from Mary Poppins where they’re like I’m Excuse me, sir, what are you looking at? And it was just it was uncomfortable.
When you ask them to describe their prior experience with Petcare, they give you long and convoluted responses filled with technical jargon and maybe like, you know, terms that you’re not familiar with, because they’re trying to appear like they know more than they do, is the interview continues, you notice that the interviewee struggles to maintain eye contact, they fidget in their seat, perhaps indicating a lack of confidence or discomfort. They frequently interrupt themselves mid-sentence struggling to express their thoughts clearly and coherently. There are not periods that end their thoughts. It just kind of trails off, or they switch topics. despite your best efforts to guide the conversation and ask follow-up questions. The interviewee seems to struggle to articulate their ideas and experience in a way that’s clear to understand their responses might be vague and meandering, making it difficult to assess their qualifications or suitability.
All of these things are definitely like poor communication skills. And let’s face it, you know, as pet sitting and dog walking business owners, we any business owner, we’re selling trust, peace of mind, and security. We want them to trust us, they’re giving us the key to their home, or code these days. So, you know, one, or all of these might be there. But you know, so far, the red flags we’re talking about is the lack of preparation, if they haven’t prepared, especially when you told them to, or poor communication skills, you know, and this is where our next episode of the standardized scoring system is going to help us because just because you’re not excellent communicator, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t, you know, help them or train them. But there’s a certain level of communication where it’s just lost. It’s a goner.
The next one is a negative attitude. And this isn’t always, you know, obvious. I love listening to how people tell their experience of things, and what kind of spin they put on it start listening, especially even to the people in your life. This works great with dating too, as you know, I am a single mom and I do date, no surprise, but um, this works in interviewing. And it’s like, are they like, you know, blaming other people all the time? Here’s an example because I wrote an example. So let me just read you my example. When you ask them why they’re interested in the position, they respond with, like a shrug, are they saying, well, I need a job and, you know, dog walking seems pretty easy and you know, just kind of wandering easy gig. They seem kind of unimpressed by your company service. And they’re critical of the industry as a whole complaining about pet owners and their unrealistic expectations. As the interview continues, you notice that the interviewee seems focused on the negative aspects of their prior job experiences, complaining about their previous boss and co-workers and expressing dissatisfaction with their pay in hours. There seems to be a lack of sense of personal responsibility, blaming others for the lack of advancement and success. My favorite way to uncover this is by asking them what was the best and worst thing about their last job. And then you ask it about the second to last job and the third the last job and you’ll start to see a pattern mostly a positive one and a negative one. It was always someone else’s fault. Or maybe you’ll just see a good articulated you know what I moved up for advancement. It’s so telling when you talk to people about that. But I want you to think about the negative attitude because I had to be read for lag.
Another one that’s kind of similar but different is dishonest. If an interviewee is caught in a lie or evasive, so sometimes it’s not always a lie, but it’s being evasive. When asked certain questions, it might be a sign that they’re not trustworthy. So during the back-and-forth communication before the in-person interview, the interviewee makes several claims about their qualifications and experience that seem exaggerated or unlikely. For example, they claim to have experience working with a wide range of dog breeds, but when you ask for specific examples, they’re unable to provide any specific examples. As the interview process continues, you notice that the interviewee is evasive would ask certain questions or provides vague and ambiguous responses that make it difficult to get a sense of their abilities. They’re like they generalize things they seem to be hiding something in their response, and lack of level of detail or specific specificity. I can say that word you would expect from a qualified candidate. When you ask for references, the interviewee is hesitant to provide them or claims that their prior employees are difficult to get in touch with or they’ve lost contact with them. When you do manage to contact one of them. You discover the interviewee has lied about their job title or, or responsibilities, exaggerating their role in the organization or claiming they had experienced they did not have. These are all things to check for how honest are they. Because you know, we go into this thinking that whatever they put, you know down in writing is gold. And that’s not always the case, it’s important for us to do our due diligence.
Number five is a lack of enthusiasm. This is our second to last flag. The interviewee seems disinterested or apathetic about the role or company, it may be a sign that they’re not motivated to succeed in the position, you want them to be enthusiastic, you want them to be excited, and this often is shown by how fast they reply to you. So sometimes, you know, it might show up in different ways. You know, like, obviously, like I just said their responses or they just might not seem interested in talking to you or like, excited to like a book that Zoom call like for your interview, you can tell just like how quickly they get back to you. I mean, all of us, if we want to know and hear from someone, can flag emails, phone calls, text messages, so that they always appear on our notifications, and we get right back to people, right? If they’re taking days to get back to you, hopefully, you’re telling them to get back within 24 hours or they’re disqualified. That’s besides the point. And that means that you also should do that, by the way. But you know, you can tell if someone’s enthusiastic about the job or not, you want someone enthusiastic about the job, just like you want someone enthusiastic to take you out on a date. And I’m gonna keep saying that.
And the last one is inappropriate behavior. Well, Doug Bella, right, but sometimes one of my operations managers, she said this quote the other day that I loved, and she said, what have we normalized that we shouldn’t have? Oh, so good, right? That was Jen, Jennifer. Jennifer said, what have we normalized that we shouldn’t have? And I think, you know, we do put up with inappropriate behavior. We don’t That sounds kind of like, what No, I don’t. But if you really think about it, I think we do. I think we give people too many chances. Sometimes it goes back to that saying when someone shows you who they are, believe them. And it could look like a lot of different ways, you know, they might be rude or dismissive to you or your staff. They might, you know, like, not engage with you. You know, sometimes nerves or anxiety might make people act a different way. But, you know, inappropriate, you know, it just would be like them interviewing you or them just like talking about the money of it all the time maybe, or, you know, maybe flirting with you. There are so many ways that things could go off-script and inappropriate. And you need to maintain professionalism. I know sometimes, you know, you want to be friends with the people you work with. But the interview process is not the time for that. It’s really important for both sides to uphold that professionalism, and keep appropriate behavior.
So let’s just recap real quick, the different flags red flags, lack of preparation, poor communication, a negative attitude, dishonesty, lack of enthusiasm, and inappropriate behavior. These are all things that we can talk about in our next interview or next episode. Next week.When we talk about standardized systems. You’re not going to want to miss that because I don’t think it’s something that a lot of people I have my jumpers who are scaling their companies who are just involved in the very final interview stage, have done this. And this is why they’ve been able to take themselves out of the interview process because they have standardized it. After all, they have come up with scoring systems after they’ve determined what their phases are. During this whole process, most people, I would say, eight out of 10 small business owners out there are not doing the hiring as well as they could be because they’re missing out on all of these little things. And that’s why I’ve dedicated 2023 To really diving into a lot of hiring. Now, you guys again, I just want to say thank you for listening, I want to encourage you to share this episode, or, and subscribe to it. And when life gets you down, always keep jumping. When you keep jumping, you keep the momentum going. You never get stuck in the rut or the mud. And you never know you don’t stay down often because you keep that momentum going. You’re jumping, jumping, jumping, you’re not getting stuck in the mud. I cannot stress that enough. That’s why I say all the time when life gets down, always keep jumping by now

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