While most interview tips are targeted toward helping you secure a new and better job, this tip is going to take a different approach. Sometimes, you really shouldn't take the job. In fact, there are a few "red flags" that you should be watching for during an interview.
These interview warning signs should give you a good idea that either the job is not what you are looking for, the company is not a good fit, or the boss is not going to be a good leader. Even if you have great interview skills, do you know how to tell when you shouldn't take the job?
1. The Interviewer Expects You To Start Immediately
It's common courtesy to give your current employer written notice and two weeks (at least) to plan for your termination. If the interviewer doesn't respect or encourage another employer's two-week's notice, consider what that says about the employer.
If they are desperate to hire you without honoring a two-week's notice, there may be internal issues that you are unaware of and that may make your new job difficult. Be cautious.
2. This Position Has A High Turnover Rate
It is always encouraged to ask the interviewer about the previous holder of this position. Did he or she leave on their own, or was he or she fired? How long did he or she hold this position? Did he or she get promoted?
If the answers to these questions are vague or imply that this role has a high turnover rate, you should reconsider taking the job if offered. The work environment may not be great. Even worse, the expectations may not be realistic. If the interviewer describes this position like a revolving door, consider it a "red flag."
3. Everyone Else Is Too Quiet, Too Loud, or Seems Stressed
When you walked into the office for an interview, did you get an eerie feeling? Was it too quiet or make you feel nervous? Your intuition is normally right when it comes to the work style or environment. When the work environment is stressful or strict, you may find yourself in a job you don't enjoy.
On the other hand, is the work environment too loud? If it seems like the work environment is loud, busy, or distracted, you may struggle to meet your responsibilities within this role. Consider how well the work style matches your preferences and the job type. This could be a warning that this job is not a good fit for you.
4. The Interviewer Can't Answer Your Questions
The interviewer is the company representative, and this interview is just as important to you as it is for the company. You need to know that this company is going to meet your needs as much as the interviewer needs to know that you are a good fit for their needs.
If the interviewer is uninformed or struggles to answer your questions about the work style, company culture, or the job itself, this is a strong warning that the company may not have their act together. A solid company would choose a strong representative to interview candidates.
5. The Company Expects You To Attend After-Hours Events
When a company positions itself to be a "family" away from your "family," be cautious. Expectations to attend events that occur when you are off work should be a sign that this employer doesn't respect work-life balance. Sure, a company can plan events and invite you (and your family!) to attend after-hours; but this shouldn't be a heavy expectation.
If a company plans events or activities during work hours such as lunches or socials, enjoy! If the company expects you to take time away from your family but doesn't plan to pay you, consider this a bad sign that may cause unnecessary strain on your personal relationships.
6. The Interviewer Is Unprofessional
As stated before, the interviewer is the company representative. Be cautious when your interviewer makes inappropriate comments, is late, or comes across unprofessional. There are questions that an interviewer can't legally ask, so be alert for any questions that appear discriminatory and don't focus on on your qualifications.
If your interviewer is late, some grace can be given; but if he or she doesn't apologize and it seems to be a normal occurrence, consider this a warning that the work environment may be less structured than it should be for a productive and professional company.
7. The Hiring Process Is Disorganized
Have you noticed that you seem to be a burden or feel out-of-the-loop during the hiring process? For example, was your phone interview rushed? Was scheduling an interview more challenging than getting to the interview location?
When a company's hiring process is disorganized or chaotic, you may be walking into an equally disorganized or chaotic environment. Make sure that you are not blind-sighted by what appears to be a new, better opportunity and accept a job that adds more stress and chaos to your life.
8. The Job Seems Too Good To Be True
Intuition can be a great guide. If during the interview you start to believe that this job is too good to be true, it may be. Expectations may not be met. Miscommunication may influence your decision and leave you disappointed or frustrated.
Ask your interviewer specific questions to make sure that you have an accurate perception of the new job, the new company, and the new environment. If your interview gives your intuition any reason to lack confidence in the new opportunity, you may need to consider the warning signs that this may not be the job for you.
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