As an emerging professional, it isn’t always easy to recognize interview red flags because many of us don’t yet have much experience talking to companies and observing normal professional behavior. Below are some telltale signs that a potential employer is not the right fit for you.
- The interviewer isn’t knowledgable about the role. A company should always ensure that the person interviewing you is prepared to do so. They need to understand what to look for in a potential candidate, what to ask (and avoid asking), how to properly execute the interview, and be able to answer questions about the role. For example, an interviewer that asks for your previous compensation is a huge red flag. (This question is no longer legal in many states.) This could indicate they are not knowledgeable of HR law, which could indicate other workplace challenges ahead.
- They ask you to start immediately. If you are currently employed and they still ask you to start immediately this could be cause for concern. It shows a desperation to fill the role, which is rarely a good sign. It may also indicate that their own employees often depart without notice (voluntarily or otherwise).
- They complain about the company, colleagues, or person previously in the role. A professional company employs people who speak about each other with respect. Talking poorly about the person that held the position previously is never good. There is no reason for an interviewer to be sharing company gossip with a potential employee.
- Interview scheduling is extremely disorganized. This is a very telling sign that the rest of the workplace is likely disorganized. Interviewers should have the respect and regard for your time. While scheduling mishaps are bound to happen, they should not be constant. Rescheduling more than once is red-flag and prospective candidates should avoid a company that does this.
- They ask personal questions that don’t pertain to job performance. Personal questions about your dating life or future family plans are not professional nor do they pertain to your performance in the role. They might also be illegal, as they can be a precursor to discrimination.
- The interview is weirdly fast. Interviews should give both parties the opportunity to get to know each other. If an interviewer doesn’t take the time to get to know the prospective candidate, how can you trust that they will be able to place the best person in the role? This can translate into a poorly built team where people are not the best fit for the position they’re in.
- Glassdoor reviews are bad. Many people rely on Glassdoor to share honest and anonymous information about a company so that others looking for positions can be informed before applying or being hired. Bad reviews can be indicative of a poor culture and workplace.
With the above signs to look out for, you should be armed with the best practices for identifying red flags during an interview. Remember: you are interviewing them too! We all experience them at some point, but being able to know what to look for might just spare you in the long run.