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Five Job Interview Red Flags - And How To Spot Them

18 June 2018 by Kieran McLoone
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Job interviews are a key stage in the hiring process, where candidates and their potential employers meet for the first time. It’s important to remember that an interview is a two-way process.

Rather than an interrogation, the best hiring managers operate with the understanding that you’re given a chance to learn more about the role, organisation, and company culture.

Being called in for an interview is an exciting development in your job search, but it’s important to remain true to what you want from a job – and consider what you don’t.

Keep an eye out for these sure-fire signs that your potential future employer might not be an ideal fit:

Bad Mouthing of Competitors…Or Colleagues

If your first experience in an interview is filled with negativity, then it’s probably a good indication that a toxic culture could be bubbling under the surface of a company. 

Like how you shouldn’t bad mouth previous employers, it’s a very bad sign if an employer has nothing but bad things to say about their competition, or even the previous employee in the role you’re applying for. 

There’s correct ways to give criticism – backstabbing certainly isn’t one of them.

Lack of Professionalism

It’s a commonly known secret that turning up to an interview late is a terrible way to set a first impression, and the same goes for your interviewer.

If they arrive very late without an apology or reason, then it’s a sign that they don’t respect you as a professional. It shouldn’t completely dissuade you, but it’s hard to proceed with a positive mentality if things are awry from the off.

No Mention of Career Progression

If an interviewer skirts around the topic of progression, then it probably means they have nothing to say about it.

As a younger workforce outnumbers the older generation, aspects like perks and room for development become more favoured than ever – if your potential employer isn’t willing to play ball, then they may not be worth your time.

Vagueness Around Specifics

Similarly, if the interviewer seems cagey when it comes to the specifics of the job or company as a whole, it could mean that they’re trying to hide something and entice only the most desperate job seekers.

The Process is Too Slow…Or Too Fast

It’s common for senior positions to take longer to fill, because hiring managers will want to properly screen everybody and determine who fits best. The same could be said for entry-level roles, but this is often a sign of indecisiveness; a sign that the company doesn’t really know what they’re looking for.

Conversely, if the hiring process is rushed and they offer you the job on-the-spot, then be wary. It’s not always a red flag, but an overly keen hiring manager can show a company that’s desperate and willing to offer a job to anybody.

We have plenty more advice and information about handling interviews and improving your job search, which can be found here:

Tips for Interview Success

Three Key Tips When Jobsearching

8 Interview Questions – And How to Answer Them

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