Five red flags to look out for during your next job interview

13 June 2023

Five red flags to look out for during your next job interview

Recognising these warning signs could save you from accepting a job that doesn’t fit with your personal goals or values. Here are five red flags to be aware of during a job interview so that you can make better decisions about your career.

1- Not being clear about job responsibilities

If the employer is unable to give you a clear description of the job responsibilities before and during the interview, it could be a sign that things are a bit disorganised or that they don’t properly understand how the role is going to work. It’s important for you to know that if you get the job everyone in your team is going to know what’s expected of you so that you can all enjoy a successful and satisfying work experience.

2- Unprofessional behaviour in the interview

A negative work environment can affect your job satisfaction and wellbeing outside of work so it’s important to pay attention to the atmosphere in the interview, and how the workplace is talked about. If there is more than one person interviewing you take a look at how they get along and how comfortable they are together. If employees seem unhappy or stressed it could be because of a toxic work environment. A toxic work environment means there could be bullying, gossiping, and passive aggressive games around blame and taking credit for other people’s work. Signs of a toxic workplace could include hearing:

  • that there are lots of staff leaving
  • that staff don’t stay for long
  • that there are issues with teamwork
  • or unnecessary negative comments about previous employees.

3- Unrealistic expectations for your role

Be cautious if the interviewer has unrealistic expectations of how much you can do every week, or if they promise quick promotions or more money as a reward for hard work but without a proper plan. These opportunities are great, but if they’re not real they might be a sign that the company doesn’t value work-life balance and employee wellbeing as much as hitting targets.

4- Bad communication

Bad communication makes it difficult for people to do well at work. If the interviewer is good at communicating with you during the interview process, from phone calls and emails to meeting in person, then it’s a good sign that the company has good communication. If they keep interrupting or don’t give clear answers it’s probably a red flag that there could be challenges ahead.

5- Less growth and development opportunities

Opportunities for growth and development are important for your future career, and for your future job satisfaction. Ask questions about training programs and opportunities for your development during the interview. If they don’t have a clear plan this might be a sign that there aren’t that many opportunities ahead of you in this job.

Job interviews are a great opportunity for you to take a really good look at a potential employer. Recognising red flags during the interview process can help you make better decisions and avoid taking a job that doesn’t work for you. Pay attention to these warning signs, ask the right questions and you’re on your way to avoiding regret and taking the first step on your fulfilling professional journey.

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