<-- Back to Building a Winning Finance Team Series

3 Red Flags to Watch Out for When Interviewing Accounting Talent


Hiring candidates to fill your company’s needs takes a large investment of time and money. Avoid making common recruiting mistakes by looking for these three red flags during your next interview.

Candidate Plans on Leaving

Check a candidate’s resume for suspicious work history, such as an inconsistent career path or gaps in employment. Past behaviour is often the best prediction of future behaviour. The candidate may get bored quickly and grow tired of the routine aspects of the job. Constantly changing jobs doesn’t let the candidate get established enough to follow through on projects or gain seniority. Ask the candidate to walk you through why they left each position. If they left due to disagreements with colleagues or managers, they may carry this behaviour into future roles as well. Find out what the candidate’s future goals are, including whether they plan on staying with your company or industry for the long haul, before you make a hiring decision.

Candidate Speaks Negatively about Previous Employers

A candidate who responds negatively to difficult situations, such as working for a bad boss, shows a readiness to blame others and failure to accept responsibility. Speaking poorly about former a employer leads to questions about a candidate’s professionalism and attitude. Perhaps the candidate is unable to constructively work through differences or solve interpersonal issues. Avoid hiring a candidate who’s dragging negative baggage into your workplace.

Candidate Does Not Take Responsibility for Mistakes

If a candidate cannot share about learning from a mistake they made, perhaps they don’t take responsibility for their part in what went wrong. The candidate may blame colleagues, bosses, a lack of resources, or lack of team members’ skills for every work failure. If the candidate was fired by a previous employer but does not list reasons within his control, be wary of hiring him. The candidate will most likely not be coachable, collaborative, and comfortable with taking risks and making mistakes, or willing to receive feedback and improve their behaviour.

Look for these red flags the next time you interview candidates for an open position. For additional assistance recruiting top talent, get in touch with the friendly professionals at Halcyon Finance & Accounting Recruitment today!

How can we help? Please let us know how we can support you or your business?