The red flags listed here may not disqualify a candidate from working at your practice, but addressing these issues early on in the interview process is essential before making a hiring decision. While it may seem obvious to some, make a conscious effort to pay attention to red flags as soon as you notice them, as ignoring early warning signs can often lead to much bigger issues in the long run.

Here are our top 5 red flags to look out for and address before bringing a new team member onboard:

  1. Can’t give clear answers to basic questions – Why did you leave your last job? What are you looking for in your next opportunity? These are clear questions that anyone should be able to answer. However, you can tell when someone simply can’t come out and clearly give you an answer. It’s fine if an applicant struggles to tell you his or her greatest weakness. But, a candidate should be able to tell you why they are in the market for a new job.

  2. Questions you may try:

    • What would the owner/manager of your last practice say about you?

    • Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

  3. Primary focus is on salary – This is so common that sometimes I wonder if people are taught to focus on money. However, if they can’t see beyond the compensation package for one minute to sell themselves on what they can do for your practice, you may have some bigger challenges and disappointments down the road, especially if they can’t earn the income they expected to earn when they start working for you.

  4. Questions you may try:

    • What can you bring to our practice in order to meet your income goals?

    • What is most important to you? Money, Challenge, Advancement, People, or Security? Rank them.

  5. “Job Hoppers” Many different jobs in a short period of time or holes in work experience timeline – This one is usually very obvious. Be sure to have the candidate address the resume in whole. You should gain clarification wherever you have questions about their work experience and/or education.

  6. Questions you may try:

    • Can you walk me through your resume? Tell me about each position and why you left and joined each one?

    • Were you let go/terminated or did you resign? Why?

  7. Staff doesn’t like the associate candidate – Do you know that so many practices could avoid a bad hire by allowing staff and candidates to interact? As a practice owner or hiring manager, you should always listen to the opinions and feedback of your staff. It’s amazing how some associate candidates can act like a completely different person around staff verses when they are with you.

  8. Actions to try:

    • Working interview or day of shadowing. I don’t advocate working interviews to get a clear picture of a doctor’s skills. I do recommend them to see how candidates handle themselves with patients and staff.

    • Leave candidates alone with staff and patients. Then listen to your team’s feedback after the candidate is gone.

  9. No references – Really? Everyone should have references, professional or personal. Just don’t allow them to use mom, dad, grandparents, etc. I experience this especially with past practice owners. Doctors don’t have to use other doctors as references. They can use their past staff or even patients. We want to hear the thoughts and feedback from those who have worked side by side with these candidates.

Want more interviewing tips? Check out our other great articles on interviewing!

ETS Vision is a Vision Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Practice Leadership professionals throughout the United States.

Other blogs you may be interested in