I’ve had a number of both good and abysmal interviews in my day. The bad ones always seem to stand out and leave me reeling when I think back on them. Below are some ‘red flags’ to look out for in your next interview.
9 Red Flags To Look Out For In Your Next Interview
1. They ask for your previous salary or proof of paychecks.
Yes, I’ve had a company ask to see a recent paycheck. It made me feel as if the company didn’t trust me and felt very invasive, leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
And if your past job isn’t relevant to the one you’re interviewing for, why does it matter what you’re currently making? This question always seems like a way to figure out what is the least amount they have to offer.
2. They rush you.
It’s a huge red flag if they give you very little time to sign the NDA/ job offer letter.
Self Made Millennial does a great video all about what an exploding job offer is and how to navigate one successfully. An exploding job offer is a way to apply pressure so you make a decision quicker and gives you less time to explore options, especially if you’re interviewing elsewhere.
3. They don’t let you meet your future co-workers and if they do, the coworkers seem like they’re faking it.
Either they are afraid the other employees will be too honest and scare you off, or they told the employees to be on their best behavior or else.
4. They never give you the actual job description and the duties of the job seem to sound different with each person you talk to.
If they are unable to give a clear overview of the job’s responsibilities, it’ll be very difficult to gauge your performance at reviews. And if you’re doing something different to everyone, you might end up with too much on your plate.
5. They aren’t honest about why people have left in the past, especially the person you’re replacing.
It’s perfectly normal for people to move on to different positions and companies as the years go by. A healthy company understands this. If they can’t acknowledge why the last person left in a mature way, there’s a good chance the circumstances weren’t great or there was something wrong with the job or the company. Like when a date talks about how all their exes are ‘crazy,’ the pattern might be the date and not the exes.
6. They seem rushed/ like the office is on fire.
Some work environments are very fast-paced, and that’s normal. But if they rush you along or make you feel as if they don’t have time for you, it means they don’t value your time and will likely be the same way when you’re employed there.
7. They ask you to do a lot of unpaid ‘assignments’ before you’re even hired.
I’m all for having proof of past projects, etc to show you’re capable of doing the job. But if they’re asking you to do actual work that benefits the company without any compensation, that’s a red flag. They are gouging you for free content/ labor/ ideas and will keep that even if you don’t get an offer.
8. They ask oddly personal questions without having made a connection with you.
Do you still live at home? Do you have children? How old are they? This isn’t polite conversation – it’s a way to learn personal info that they normally aren’t supposed to ask. This is potential discrimination.
9. They keep having you come in for three (or more) interviews without any indication that they will send an offer.
This depends on the job you’re applying for and if they want you to come back to meet with someone higher up who might be out of town.
A second interview is normal. Having you come in four times without any indication that an offer is coming is disrespectful and a waste of your time. Especially if it’s costing you (paying for someone to watch your kids, taking time off work, etc.)
What were some red flags you’ve experienced? Do you have any interview nightmares to share?