Job Interview Red Flags Candidates Should be Aware of
The interview process is your opportunity to get a feel for the job and the environment. Just as the hiring manager is checking if you are fit for the job, so are you. One of the main things to look out for is whether it will be a healthy work environment. With the average interview time ranging from 45 minutes to an hour, this might not seem like a lot of time. No one should have to find themselves in a toxic work environment, so we have created a list of a few red flags to look out for during your next interview.
Red Flags in a Hiring Manager
- The interviewer doesn’t give you the time of day
- General atmosphere
- Can’t answer your questions
- One-sided game of phone tag
- Company information isn’t accessible or has bad reviews
- Inappropriate questions
- Constant rescheduling
The interviewer doesn’t give you the time of day
When going into an interview, there should be a clear mutual respect between each party. Both of you are taking time out of your busy schedules to meet, and this time should be respected. With the recruiting process being so expensive, hiring managers should be on their A-game and make every minute count. If it seems like your interviewer has their head in the clouds or could care less about your interview, chances are this is a sign they make frequent hiring mistakes. And as a result, this creates a weak workforce. If you do happen to land the job this might be an offer you want to refuse.
What does it feel like when you walk into the workplace? Do people seem happy? Or on edge? The energy put off by current employees should paint a picture of what it’s like to work there. If you get the opportunity, talk with some employees and pick their brains. While there’s no guarantee they will be truthful, lookout for body language can speak a thousand words.
Can’t answer your questions
Study how your interviewer answers any of your questions. If they can respond accurately and confidently, then there is no need to worry. However, if your interviewer seems caught off guard or not able to give a straight answer even to the most fundamental of questions, beware. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a toxic work environment. However, it definitely is an unorganized one.
One-sided game of phone tag
Emails get lost, and phone calls get missed.
But it shouldn’t be a habit.
A hiring manager that is tough to get in contact with is a red flag. If you have to send multiple follow-ups, this says a lot about the company’s state. The hiring manager might also be your future boss, and who wants to work under someone with poor communication skills? Your senior leaders are there to support you and provide you with the tools you need to succeed. If you’re constantly playing a game of phone tag where you always it, take that as a sign of a future stressful work environment.
Company information isn’t accessible or has bad reviews
Anyone with good advice will tell you to research the company before your interview. This can be in the form of going through their website or reading Glassdoor reviews. If you cannot find substantial information or find inconsistencies, maybe think twice if this is a company you want to work for.
All businesses are bound to face some bad reviews, but there should be some positives as well. Not only should you be on the lookout for poor reviews but also an outrageous amount of good ones. If you notice many positive reviews were posted on the same day, those reviews are probably fabricated.
Candidates should be mindful of the questions being asked throughout the interview. A big red flag is questions regarding personal information.
Topics interviewers should avoid are:
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation
- Marital or family status
- Race, ethnicity, nationality
Though an interview question surround some of these topics might seem harmless they can actually be discriminatory and are illegal. Asking questions on any of these topics goes against Canadian human rights laws and can only be asked under very limited circumstances.
Work can get busy and things can come up out of the blue. Rescheduling an interview isn’t a red flag in of itself but when a hiring manager reschedules more than twice you should be cautious.
Constant rescheduling sends the message that you aren’t important. Your time is valuable just as theirs is. Rescheduling and just a general lack of consideration for candidates probably also extends to their employees. If you choose to accept a job with this company you are potentially opening yourself up to an environment that lacks transparency and respect for employees.
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