Job interview red flags

3 Job Interview Red Flags and Warning Signs | What To Look For

Getting an interview is exciting. Especially if it is with a company you really want to work for – or at least you think you want to work for. But there are some job interview red flags that cannot be ignored! 

Here is a list of my top 3 job interview read flags you must obey. 

  • Your time is valuable. 

As a job seeker, your time is valuable. You spent time and effort preparing a resume, cover letter, and for the interview. Now it’s your big day. But when you arrive at the company, you wait. And wait. Eventually someone comes by to offer you a glass of water. The only thing more glaring than the emptiness of the lobby is the clock on the wall, ticking. If before you even meet your interviewer, your time is being wasted, it’s a sure sign of what is to come. 

Besides making you wait, being unprepared is another red flag that your time is not valuable. Your potential employer should have read your resume and prepared questions to ask you based on that information and the job posting. Aloof and distracted are not qualities to look for in an employer.  

  • You receive vague answers to your questions. 

When you interview, it’s always a good idea to have some questions for two reason. Questions show your interest in the position, and questions show you how your future boss will handle questions you will undoubtedly have once you start your new job. 

My favorite questions to ask are, “What are three likely challenges I will face if hired for this role?” and “What benchmarks do you use to measure success in this position?” 

Other great questions to ask include “Why is this position available?” and “Can you tell me the history of this position?” You’re trying to find out if the previous employee quit or was promoted or if the position is new. New positions are not necessarily bad, but you’ll want to be really clear about role expectations (see #3).

If your interviewer dismisses or dances around answers to these questions, that could be a huge job interview red flag

  • You do not receive a clear picture of the job. 

Most managers who are prepared will include a printed job description or paint a very clear picture of what you’ll be doing on a day-to-day basis. At the very minimum, your interviewer should be able to explain the responsibilities of the role and provide benchmarks for success. In a best-case scenario, your interviewer can map out a potential career path for you as an employee of their company. If they can’t do any of these things in the interview, you’ll be left with job duties that constantly change without a direct – or even indirect – career path. 

The bottom line, if you have a pit in your gut after your interview – run! But before you do, let me sign off with this. If early in the interview process, you get that gut feeling you don’t want to work there, shift your focus. Continue the interview but from a place of practice. Every position receives 250 applicants on average and only a handful of those are interviewed. Be thankful for the practice so that the next time you’re called for an interview, all the jitters have been worked out.  

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