What are your red flags when hiring? How one question ignited a storm on Twitter

job interview candidates with autism red flags when hiring

Not using Linkedin, no side projects, and resume gaps were just some of the many replies. Source: Shutterstock.

Patrick Coddou’s question to Twitter was simple: “What are your red flags when hiring?”

But the responses to his viral tweet were illuminating — and sometimes terrifying — for job seekers past, present and future.

Walking out of a job interview can often leave one with a sense of foreboding as those unanswerable questions swirl in one’s mind — did I miss a gotcha moment? Was that last one a trick question? What does an eyebrow raise really mean?

Coddou, the CEO of men’s grooming company Supply, has dozens of replies to his tweet offering insights into the world of recruitment.

“I love how this has become a complete cluster of good, funny, and bad advice for candidates,” Coddou wrote.

“Which is which? You’ll have to decide.”

Marketing agency founder Zach Stuck replied that his red flag was candidates not updating their LinkedIn account — or not having one at all.

Stuck claims these are the people working two full-time remote jobs — a phenomenon that gained traction during the pandemic — or freelancing full time while applying for a full-time job.

Jack Carr, who lists on his Twitter profile that he is retired, says recruiters should do the interview first thing in the morning — 7am.

“If you can’t get up early enough to shower/shave/and have a coffee 1x for an interview then you don’t want it enough,” he continues.

But a reply to his tweet, which received more than 300 likes, read that it was a “great way to exclude anyone with a young child from your hiring process”.

Rather comically, Charlie Wade — the executive vice president at VMLY&R Commerce (a WPP company) also responded “There’s another thread somewhere about red flags to avoid in the job-seeking process — they are discussing bros who make you interview at 7am”. Ouch.

CEO at Southport Technology Group Trevor Ewen weighed in, saying he hires developers, and has a trick for weeding out the passionate ones.

“I ask them about side projects. Some think this is a gotcha. Truth is, if they don’t have one, that’s the red flag. The desire to tinker and build showcases an interest in the craft. It should be about more than money,” he wrote.

Homework is a common theme in the responses too — writer Kaleigh Moore says her biggest red flag is a candidate failing to deliver something compelling to the common question, “Why do you want to work here?”, while angel investor Alex Macdonald says he bristles when the interviewee has no questions about the company they’ve applied to work at.

Megafood’s Christopher Shields writes: “First question I ask in interviews is ‘tell me what you’d change on our website’. Amazing how many folks don’t bother to look at the site before the interview.”

CEO of Form Nutrition Damian Soong weighed in that resumes with several short stints raise his eyebrows, and it’s a common concern among job seekers — particularly in a job market increasingly saturated in insecure work.

In Australia, about 3 million workers lack job security. An estimated 2.4 million — that’s a whopping 20% to 25% of the total workforce — are casual workers and a further 500,000 are on fixed-term contracts.

Bad habits in this pandemic era reared their ugly heads too. Head of talent at Permanent Equity, Kelie Morgan, responded rather humorously that she recently interviewed a candidate who did the entire Zoom interview from bed — with his girlfriend sleeping next to him.

“Let me just say, the interview was very short,” she wrote.

Perhaps the most common bug-bear was candidates blaming their ex-employers for their mistakes when asked about a challenge or problem they’d overcome in the past, Coddou noticed.

“This one has probably been the most consistently mentioned one on here,” he wrote.

“Usually by folks with lots of hiring experience.”


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