To be certain that you will get past the initial screen, be aware of the following common candidate red flags:

1. No Home Address, Telephone Number or E-mail Address
If they can’t find you, they can’t hire you. Without basic information and an easy way to contact you once interest is established, your chances virtually disappear.

2. Time Lapses Between Jobs

If the time between past positions is wide, you will have some explaining to do. Be certain you’re honest and provide all necessary information on gaps in employment up front. It is certain the new company will want to know.

3. Negative or Vague Reasons for Leaving Past Employment

Immediately, the worst case scenario comes to the mind of the hiring manager when you are negative or vague with information about past departures. There is no room for sour grapes. Instead, keep a positive outlook and give details around leaving your previous positions.

4. Inconsistent Answers
You may be asked the same question in a hundred different ways, so your responses to similar questions must be consistent at every step of the hiring process. Inconsistent answers or waffling leaves a negative impression in the mind of the interviewer and will most likely eliminate you from the process.

5. Unrealistic Expectations
Whether you want a certain percentage of travel, desire a particular commuting distance, have compensation issues, or long for relocation, unrealistic expectations on your part can lead to disaster and a quick exit. Know what you are willing to do and what your bottom line compensation number is, before you get involved in the interviewing process.

6. Lack of Preparedness
Do your homework. Research the company online and develop intelligent questions prior to any interview. Prepare and impress the hiring managers. Take it seriously, and they will take you seriously.

7. No Career or Personal Goals
Where do you see yourself in two years? How about five years? Have a clear direction around both business and personal goals before entering an interview. Include action plans and rewards along the way. Share this information where appropriate. This shows the hiring manager you are focused, prepared and have a specific direction for your career. Share your plan.

8. Negative or Reactionary Attitude
It’s all about P.M.A., baby! Possess a “positive mental attitude.” Smile, provide a firm handshake and use eye contact. When you react to information in a negative way, you won’t get far. Don’t dictate what must be done; simply gather information and insight to keep the process moving in a positive direction. If negative information is shared with you, don’t react, simply write it down to discuss at a later date.