You must have come across all sorts of candidates in your recruitment journey. But there are a few that keep you up at night.

They have you tossing and turning in bed because you’re on the cusp of losing your mind.

You can’t figure out who they really are and if they’re just playing you. We know this sounds a tad bit dramatic, but it’s pretty accurate.

These nightmarish, ghoulish candidates are out recruiter-haunting. But you must keep an eye out for such sneaky little applicants all year round!

Trick or treat? You could be in for either this Spooky Season. So, we’ve got a list of 5 scary candidates (and ways to deal with them) to help you dodge the tricks and grab the treats!

5 ghoulish candidates recruiters must avoid

1. The ghost

Ghoulish candidates to be aware of - the ghost

Are you struggling to get a hold of your candidate? Or starting to wonder if they’re even real? Hate to break it to you, but you’re dealing with a ghost.

You’ve probably encountered these “ghosts” quite a few times in your career. Unfortunately, it never really goes anywhere with such candidates. You’ll just be left chasing!

You’ll also have to go through an uncomfortable call with the hiring manager, giving them the news that their fantastic new employee turned out to be a Phantom!

So ditch the phone; you’ll probably have better luck using an Ouija board.

Solution? Become a Ghostbuster.

A few adjustments to your process can trap these ghosts for good.

One improvement that can help you a lot is creating a positive candidate experience – one that captivates your ghoulish candidates to stay.

Call or email them when you tell them you would, make them feel comfortable, and engage them in the process.

But, if all else fails, you always have your friendly ghost communicator, the Ouija board, to your rescue. They can’t run from that now, can they?!

2. The zombie

Ghoulish candidates to be aware of - the zombie

A Zombie might send in a great, almost perfect-looking resume for a job, but they probably lied a lot on it (and took someone’s help to finish it).

Does it say they’re a leader and a people-person? They likely lack communication skills and struggle to hold a conversation.

You’ll see what they’re truly like in the interview. They’ll give generic, unimpressive answers to your questions and seem dull and distracted (probably because they’re starving for some braaaiins).

Solution? Prevent the zombie apocalypse.

Spotting zombies might not be super easy after just one look at their CVs – they’re very well-written.

So if a CV looks TOO good to be true, call them up before taking the time to schedule and set up an actual interview.

You might get a great idea of what they’re like with a quick 10-minute phone call.

3. The skeleton

Ghoulish candidates to be aware of - the skeleton

This candidate isn’t the strongest of the bunch. They struggle, to say the least. The Skeleton could do with a bit more “meat” to their resume.

They don’t have the experience required for the job (to put it lightly), and their applications are a tad bit dull. So they come off as weak, confused, and kind of lost.

Skeletons have a hard time selling themselves, and their personalities are just a bit, well, dead.

Solution? Bring them back to life.

Skeletons could do with a little guidance, don’t you think? Some grooming, mentorship, and direction could come in super handy for them.

No candidate will need your feedback more than them. So do your bit, and help them out. Give them as many tips as possible, tell them what they’re doing wrong and how they can fix it, and prepare them to excel in future job interviews.

4. The killer clown

Ghoulish candidates to be aware of - the killer clown

Pennywise, the clown, is out hunting, and you’re the delicious meal he’s looking for. Clowns are clever, like very clever.

They’re experts at using a little bit of the old razzle-dazzle to enchant and trick recruiters, distracting them from the fact that they are not right for the job.

But on the bright side, they’re good jugglers.

Solution? Outsmart the clever clown.

Killer Clowns may be great at charming recruiters, but this is just their top layer and effective only as long as THEY’RE the ones speaking.

You need to have a solid and detailed list of questions ready for them to answer. Put them on the spot, and you’ll be able to see what’s beyond the rehearsed.

5. The vampire

Ghoulish candidates to be aware of - the vampire

Vampires are perfect for the role, but they also know it. They often have a lot of questions to ask, like A LOT.

Vamps will try to drain as much as they can from the job offer (and you), negotiating on everything, from salary and perks to lunch breaks. They might overwhelm you and suck you dry.

Solution? Get your garlic ready.

Vampires might be a bit much to handle, but they’re actually pretty darn qualified. You do want them around, just not a lot. So, set your boundaries straight.

You want to be there for your candidates when they have doubts they need to get cleared, but you also need to let them know that you don’t have all the answers.

Inform them that they must keep all their questions for their interview and provide them with a resource, like a detailed JD, for any follow-ups they might have.

Did you find the ghoulish candidates you’re dealing with on our list? Then it looks like you’ve got a problem that needs to be taken care of. Good thing we’ve got a solution for each ghoul.

So gear up, recruiters; the witching hour is upon us!