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5 Warning Signs To Look For During An Interview

5 Warning Signs to Look for in an Interview



Let’s face it, interviews can be extremely stressful for jobseekers.  Especially if you are dying to land the job!  You spend hours preparing in order to make a great impression and be the perfect candidate, but sometimes many people forget that it is a two way street.  When you are interviewing for a position you should also be interviewing the company to see if its the right fit for you!  You don’t want to take a job and then find out that it wasn’t what you were expecting a few weeks later.  Here are some warning signs to look for during your next interview!

1. Job Description

A great place to start is with the job description.  Sure, you took a look at it online and you have a good feel for what they need, but it is important to review the description and duties with the direct manager.  You want to get a feel for their expectations, daily responsibilities and overall focus for the position.  This will also give you a better view of future advancement opportunities.

If the employer cannot provide a written job description or a clear explanation of your responsibilities, this is a major red flag.  Without clear direction you will end up losing focus as you have no set expectations.  This will not only affect your daily tasks, but it will also impact future growth opportunities.


2. Employee Interaction and Environment

Environment is a big key when it comes to looking for a new job.  I always recommend taking a look around the office when you are there.  Do you see yourself working and fitting in at the office?  Take note of how employees interact and also how they treat you.  Everyone from the person at the front desk to folks passing by.  A lot can be learned about a company by just sitting in the waiting area for a few minutes.  Also, pay attention to how people in the office interact with each other.  If employees look miserable, you can bet that they are.


3. Initial Communication and Impression of Direct Boss

What did you think of your potential manager during your interview?  Do you think that it is someone that you can see yourself getting along with and working for?  Do they have realistic expectations?  This one may sound silly, but it is often times overlooked when candidates are interviewing.  If during your interview they didn’t seem interested or you didn’t have their attention, chances are that is how it will be if you are working for them.  If they seemed extremely busy and only spent a few minutes with you, it may be a sign of how things go in the office.  Take note of their communication style and see if you feel like you mesh.  A good manager is willing to take the time to interview and they want to make the right hire.  It should be a positive experience for both parties.


4. Quick or Long Process

It is also important to pay attention to the timeline when it comes to the hiring process.  While it may seem amazing to get an immediate job offer, it can also be something to think about.  It indicates that the organization is in desperate need to fill the position.  This means they may be open to hiring anyone, even if they don’t possess all of the necessary skills.  This could put you in a tricky spot if you haven’t had experience in a certain area.  It could also mean that the company is quick on making decisions, which means you may also be a good candidate to get cut if times get tough.

On the other side, a hiring process that drags out over several months may not be much better.  A long process could give some insight on how quick the company moves overall.  If it takes a long time for decisions to be made, the company may not be operating smoothly.  It may also be a sign that they have opened up their search parameters and are getting desperate to fill the role with candidates that aren’t 100% qualified.


5. Turnover and the Reason the Position is Open?

Finally, you should always inquire about why the position is open.  This should give you a good idea on the working environment and also the manger’s expectations.  If the manager says that the previous person was let go, it is important to find out why.  Maybe this boss has unrealistic expectations or it is a toxic working environment.  It is definitely a concern if the employer can’t tell you why the job is open.

I also recommend doing some research on turnover or asking about average tenure at the organization.  This will give you a good outlook on career advancement and the stability of the company.


Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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