Hiring the right person for a given job can be a long and very time-consuming process, so any way of saving time is, of course, welcome. These three major warning signs let me know that I shouldn't pursue the recruiting process any further and free up the time I would have spent on it to spend on something more productive.
1. If a candidate is unresponsive or unreliable
An applicant is (or should be) trying their utmost to impress during the hiring process. If I don't get timely replies to my emails or calls or, worse, if they are late without a good reason, I can only expect that things would be even worse if they got the job. If they aren't willing to work for the job, they won't be will to work on the job. This kind of lack of commitment is a huge red flag.
2. If a candidate is arrogant
By all means, you should believe in yourself. But don't let that tip over into arrogance. However good you are at what you do, you still need to be someone that I want to work with. This is often coupled with becoming defensive if I bring up any weaknesses or gaps in the CV. For me, it is really important that candidates are confident enough to be open and transparent on these topics.
3. If a candidate refuses to provide references
Unless they can offer a valid reason, such as not wanting their current employer to know they are looking, this suggests to me that they have something to hide.
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