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Beware Candidates Who Say “Always” And “Never” in Interviews

Source | | MARK MURPHY

A study titled “Why New Hires Fail” recently discovered that 89% of hiring failures result from poor (or mismatched) attitudes — not a lack of technical skills. Across more than 20,000 new hires, mishires were most likely to result from a lack of coachability, emotional intelligence, motivation, or temperament. Only 11% stemmed from a lack of technical skills.

While attitude might seem an ethereal quality and difficult to assess, you can often identify it through a candidate’s language. If recruiters and hiring managers know how to listen well, poor attitudes reveal themselves very quickly in job interviews.

Now obviously, catastrophically bad attitudes are easy to pinpoint. Think of a candidate who says something like, “I don’t know anything about your company. I’m just looking to make a quick buck.” But many candidates will try to mask their problematic attitudes, so it will take some extra effort to discover issues.

Another study, “Words That Cost You The Job Interview,” analyzed 20,572 job interview responses to identify the words that predicted likely hiring failures. It turns out that that low-performer candidates used 103% more absolutes than high-performers. Absolutes are words that indicate a black-or-white thinking style: alwaysnever, allimpossibleabsolutelyunquestionably, etc.

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