Employers: How to spot a potentially bad employee at interview

You've spent some time putting together the perfect football job advert and aim to attract the best possible candidates for your vacant role.

You’ve gone through your list of potential candidates and select them for interview but before you select your ideal candidate, we wanted to flag up a few potential warning signs that might help you spot a bad employee before you make them an offer…even if they appear perfect on paper.

Are they too good to be true?

Let’s face it. How to tell if your potential candidate is too good to be true is a challenge. A good rule of thumb is to be a little wary if your potential employee seems literally perfect in every way. We’re talking someone who has exactly the experience you’re looking for, in the right discipline, with the degree they need and are checking EVERY box. More often than not, these requirements are touched on through transferrable skills and aren’t a perfect match. Challenge them on different points within their C.V. and consider their response. You will tend to pick up on truths and embellishments.

Perfect matches might also be too qualified. This might mean they are running for the door as soon as they find another opportunity that they deem more interesting. Be careful and go with your gut instinct.

They’re unprofessional

While sometimes it might be attributed to nerves, someone who swears or panics when answering a basic question might not be the best person to hire. Unfortunately, most of us fall victim to interview nerves, but there’s a difference between that and a personality clash. Think about the role you’re recruiting for. If the candidate is likely to work within a high-pressure environment, are they the best person for the role or will they let nerves and stress get the better of them?

They aren’t genuinely interested

Sometimes individuals have been job seeking for some time, which often leads to the receipt of a fundamentally generic job application. An applicant might have found themselves out of work and keen to get back to work, but in order to find the best candidate, it’s important to suss out whether they are genuinely interested in the role. 

Ask them about the company, challenge them about the job description and ask them if they know anything about senior management. A good applicant will have done their research and amended their C.V. to specifically suit the vacancy.

They take all the credit  

A candidate might have implemented some fantastic procedures at their previous place of work, however, it’s important to pay attention to the way they tell you about it. Do they take all the glory, or do they mention other members of the team? While some candidates might deserve all the credit, more often than not there would have been others involved along the way.

This might be a warning sign for future employment. You don’t want a team mates that steals ideas and takes sole credit for a team win. Instead, look for a candidate who speaks enthusiastically about collaborative working. There’s no ‘I’ in team!


If you would like to find the best candidates for your next job in football, visit www.jobsinfootball.com/scout-candidates.