Whenever I interview for a position, I often have to remind myself that the interview is as much for me to get to know the interviewer, as it is for them to get to know me. A successful working relationship depends on both parties, the employee and employer, and therefore, both have to step up to the plate. Interviews help job seekers get a solid first impression of the company and position at hand. Therefore, when interviewing, make sure to keep an eye (or ear) out for the following red flags that can warn you to reconsider before it’s too late.
1. Being unprepared
Candidates and employees, alike, are expected to be prepared to put their best foot forward. You should expect employers to have gone through your resume, arrive to the scheduled interview on time, have a clear understanding of the position and expectations, and overall, be prepared. The interviewer’s level of preparedness gives you a first glimpse into the work culture of the company.
Bad-mouthing is not a kind practice, period. It is even more unacceptable and unprofessional to hear an employer bad-mouthing others, be it the person you are replacing, competitors, or someone else.
3. High turnover
If you get any indication that there is a high turnover rate at the company, that’s reason enough to reconsider it. A good position with a good support system in place will retain employees for the long-run.
4. Illegal questions
An interview is a professional conversation with little space for personal diversions. There are many questions that are actually illegal or are highly discouraged from being asked. Before attending the interview, make sure to take a look at what questions fall in this category. Many of these questions usually stem from a place of curiosity and naivety, not necessarily bad intent, but still they’re illegal. With that in mind, assess your comfort level and then decide to either go ahead and answer the questions, side-step them, or ask for (essentially confronting the interviewer) the questions’ relevance to the position.
5. Mismatched cultural fit
When going for an interview, observe the work environment, the other employees you come across, the interviewer, and then finally pay attention to how the interviewer talks about the company and the position. Take time to determine whether the work culture you sense through your interactions fit your expectations. If not, then perhaps reconsider the position. Cultural fit can be as, if not more, important than pay, so make sure to take it into special consideration.
With the above the cues in mind, and the reminder that you are meant to assess the employer as much as he/she is meant to assess you, you can go to your next interview with confidence and ace it, regardless of whether you ultimately decide to take an offer or not.