I am the hiring manager and I have the 2nd round and final interview of a candidate, who is overly polite. For every question I asked he always responded with "thank you" at the beginning and the end of his words, among other things, he strikes me as too polite!
Of course I understand he was a bit nervous so I tried to reassure him that "oh you don't need to thank me every time. Just discuss with me like how you discuss with your colleague or your former boss if you like." He acknowledged that (with a "thank you") but continued doing that. I also try not to let this cloud my judgement. I invited him for the 2nd interview but he still behaves like that.
One of concerns I have if he is really that polite in the real life? If he is then he probably won't be easy to blend in my team. We are a software development team and we value Linus Torvalds's words "Talk is cheap. Show me the code." (this is not to say we don't like discussion or we can't have polite discussions). And if he is not then this is not a good sign. So either way it is somewhat a red flag to me.
The other concern, is as this article "Science Says You Need To Be Wary Of Overly Polite People, Here’s Why" and several articles said, which is inline with my own experience.
The Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics in Beijing (AMACL) just released their findings that those who are “excessively polite” are considerably more likely to betray peers or comrades than those who are not effusively polite. The researchers at AMACL engaged in an in-depth study of Diplomacy, a strategy-oriented game in which players simulate pre-WWI Europe.
I know this is just one article, not a hard rule. And of course I won't worry about "betray". I am concerned about the candidate is hiding something and shows a quality he/she doesn't really have.
I can't tell whether he is genuinely that way or not. If not, is this a red flag? How will you handle it?