Red Flags During the Interview

Nancy Anderson
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Have you ever been so psyched up for a job interview only to show up and get a bad feeling as soon as you enter the building? All employers are not created equal, and all jobs are not ideal. If you catch any of these six red flags during your interview, don't be afraid to excuse yourself and never look back.

1. They're Slow to Respond

If you ask questions during the interview and don't get the answers you're seeking, take heed. Whether you inquire about the hiring process, the job duties or a salary range, the hiring manager should provide a straightforward response. If members of the interview panel exchange sideways glances without offering you a reasonable explanation, consider it a red flag.

2. They Ask Inappropriate Questions

Interviewers should never ask personal questions about your marital status, children, medical issues or religion. If you're faced with such inquiries, decline to respond. Asking these questions is illegal, and hiring managers know this. If they continue to press you for an answer, spot the red flag and head for the door.

3. The Hiring Manager Is Unprepared

A disorganized recruiter speaks volumes about the way the organization does business. When the hiring manager is late for the interview or hasn't reviewed your resume, it speaks volumes about how much he values your time and respects you as a candidate. Consider how he must treat actual employees.

4. Their Turnover Rate is High

Ask the hiring manager about the last person who filled the open position. Did she leave for a promotion or move on to another company? If the position rolls over every six months, this may be a red flag that it's a toxic work environment or that the organization treats its workers poorly.

5. They Have Negative Reviews

Check out online reviews of the organization, both from former employees and customers. If the company has a reputation for treating people poorly, consider whether you're willing to be treated that way.

6. They Badmouth Employees

Most hiring managers want to make a good impression during the interview, so if the recruiter speaks negatively about the organization or its employees, take it as a red flag. If you get the job, consider that the manager may badmouth you the same way.

While a job interview is your opportunity to show off your skills and expertise to the hiring manager, it's also a chance for you to learn more about the organization, its employees, the company culture and the duties of the job. If you notice any of these six red flags that make you question whether this is the right environment for you, it's best to go with your gut.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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