You come across all types of candidates during the recruiting process. It can be challenging to differentiate one candidate from the next. Many share similar experiences, academic backgrounds, and skills.

While there are some sure-fire signs of a good candidate, there are also many different habits to look out for that signifies a candidate is unhirable.

Toronto recruitment agency warns employers about the bad habits of poor job candidates

In this blog, Toronto recruiters break down some key bad habits to watch for when interacting with job candidates:

1. Negativity

No one wants to be around, let alone work closely with, a negative Nancy. People with a bad attitude can quickly impact your company culture. Watch out for a candidate who has a negative attitude, has poor things to say about former employers and has an overall negative outlook on things.

2. They are always running a few minutes late

Being late can happen to anyone from time to time. Stuff happens. But, if you have a candidate who seems to always be a few minutes late, you may want to think twice about hiring them. Tardiness is a habit that is difficult to break. It can also creep into many aspects of the candidate’s job. They could be late for work, meetings, even be late finishing tasks and projects – all of which can impact other people in your organization as well as your customers.

3. Lack of responsiveness

Communication is one of the most important skills for any job. You need people who are good communicators. If a candidate shows a lack of responsiveness when you interact with them, it could be a sign they are not a strong communicator. Look for the signs – do they take an abnormally long time to respond to emails, texts, or return your calls?

4. They talk about money too much

Salary is important, but it’s not the only thing. If a candidate has a tendency to talk a lot about salary, commissions, and compensation in general, it could be a sign they are interested in the job for the wrong reasons. If cash is king, they could be willing to compromise or circumvent company practices or rules to make more. Or they may be willing to exit the company if a better salary is offered to them.

5. They are loose-lipped

Always mind what you say in a professional setting. As they say, think before you speak. However, some candidates do not have a good filter. They tend to be more informal, speak a little too freely about personal topics, and curse more often. All of these things could create situations where they say something offensive or offend others. These types of candidates could have challenges integrating into your company culture and building strong relationships with others.

6. It’s not their fault

All candidates have flaws. They may be short on experience or maybe there is a skill they need to add. Once you probe into their experience and start asking questions, you start to notice a common trend for how they explain any shortcomings – it’s not their fault. Be very conscious of candidates who like to blame others rather than accept responsibility themselves. This is a sign they will not take ownership or learn from past mistakes. They will also bring this approach to your company, which can quickly disrupt your team’s chemistry.

7. Constantly checking their phone

People are increasingly becoming addicted to their phones and social media. If a candidate cannot put down their phone or stop checking it while you meet with them, it’s a sign that this behaviour will continue while working. This can negatively impact productivity and reduce the overall quality of the work they do.

8. Constantly interrupting others

People interrupt others on occasion. It happens. But if you notice a candidate regularly interrupts you or others, it can be a sign they lack communication skills. It can also show they have a lack of respect for others, believe what they have to say is more important, and they may have issues seeing multiple perspectives.

9. Overselling

All candidates are going to try to sell themselves as the best candidate. That’s what the recruiting process is all about. But there is a difference between selling yourself and overselling. Watch for candidates who embellish, say things that seem too good to be true, or flat out lie about things. People often oversell because they are trying to hide or deflect from a flaw.

10. Lethargy

The type of energy a candidate projects is important. It can rub off on others. Going for a new job and trying to make a career move is exciting. So, if a candidate lacks enthusiasm and seems to display signs of lethargy, it may not be the type of energy you want to bring into your organization. There may be something deeper at play.

Read More Recruiting Tips From a Toronto Recruitment Agency

Finding a top candidate is challenging. Are you on the search for talent in your industry? Check out these insightful blogs by our expert recruiters. Get advice on common missteps you could be making and tips for hiring different types of candidates:

6 Reasons Why Your Company Is Attracting Poor Quality Candidates

4 Tips for Hiring Generation Z Candidates

You’ve Made a Poor Hiring Decision, What Next? 4 Ways to Handle a Bad Hire

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Interviewing Candidates

4 Signs You Have Made a Bad Hiring Decision


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Riel LaPointe Financial Recruiter

Riel LaPointe

Riel is a VP of Client Services with IQ PARTNERS where he recruits across the full scope of multiple lines of business, with a particular focus in Financial Services & Insurance, Technology, Human Resources, and Real Estate Services.

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