5 Warning Signs to Look Out For at Your Job Interview

A job interview is a time when you are eager to impress the employer where you hope to be on the books. But it also needs to be a time when you assess the company that you’d like to work for, too. If you’re going to commit the next stage of your career to a certain firm, then you need to make sure it’s the right move for you – and the interview is a great opportunity for you to gain the information you need.  Indeed, there are a few red flags to look out for at your interview which might warn you this isn’t an organization you really want to join. Let’s have a look at some of the main warning signs.

Jun 22, 2020

Expectations are not clear

At your interview, it’s a good idea to get as precise and clear a picture of what your job will involve as possible. What would an average day look like? What will your targets be? And what will it take for you to excel in the role?

However, if your employer is not able to answer these questions with clarity, then that’s a major worry. If they are not definite about these matters at this stage, is it likely that they will be once you join? The last thing you want is to end up in a role where it’s not clear what you should be doing or how you can advance your career.

Money is not mentioned

Money is a difficult topic to discuss. But the one thing worse than your salary being a point of disagreement is the employer not mentioning it at all. Have they not thought about it? Or are they trying to avoid the subject until you’re in the door? Either way, this is a red flag. Make sure both sides have clear communication about the rate that’s being offered and don’t leave this issue aside until you’re signing the contract. 

Organization is poor

Early in my career, I attended an interview at a small firm where the principal lawyer would be interviewing me. I was thrown, however, when he asked me whether I’d read over the pre-interview scenario that he would be asking me to write about. I hadn’t, I replied, amidst a rising panic. To my relief, however, it turned out that he’d forgotten to send it to me. “Not to worry”, he smiled, “I always bring a print-out in case this happens, so you can have some time to read it over just now.” Alas, he’d forgotten to bring the print-out. 

I was offered the job, and as a naïve young lawyer, I took it. But unsurprisingly, the culture of the organization had been well-reflected by the interview: the IT system didn’t work, the filing system was a mess, and the senior lawyers were about as in touch with the departments under them as a British colonial official trying to run a far-off imperial province from a desk in London in the 1880s. It was a valuable lesson to listen to the warning signs coming up at the interview.

They are in a rush to give you the job 

Ever get the feeling that something that’s supposed to be difficult seems a little too easy? Well, sometimes that might be the case. If your employer is not really testing you with any searching questions and seems a little too quick to offer you the job, there might be something amiss. Are you the only candidate? That doesn’t in itself mean it’s the wrong job – it just means you should take a step back and consider whether there’s anything you’re missing that might mean there could be some problems with the role.

Whatever you do, don’t get carried away with simply trying to impress during an interview – remember to look out for yourself, test whether the role is right for you and listen to your instinct if any red flags are raised!

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