Many people do not keep in mind that when you are going on an interview you are also interviewing to see if this place is a fit for YOU. There are many red flags that should have you considering whether you really want to move forward with the interview process or accept a job offer.
I get it. It has been a while since you’ve had to interview or you’re so nervous that you just want to focus on preparing and knowing what to say or not to say so you can get the job. Be careful though, you can jump from one not-so-great situation (or a good situation) into a bad situation and who wants that! Be on alert and seek information that will help you make an informed decision that is best for you.
When I show up for an in-person interview, I’m paying attention to what is going on around me from the time I walk up to reception to the time I leave the office. I’m sure to ask questions that will give me information about what it would be like to work for the employer and how the position I’m applying for fits into the overall big picture.
Pay attention to what’s not being said too! I remember a time when I interviewed for a position and I was so wrapped up in how great the position sounded and communicating my skills and experience for the role, that I did not ask enough questions about their organizational goals. I believe I would have received more insight into the short-term and long-term plan for the position had I thought about what was not being said! Check out my Winning Interview Preparation Worksheet here.
Here are just 3 (of many) red flags you should look out for:
ILLEGAL QUESTIONS. As a job seeker, don’t leave your common sense or intuition at home just because you really want the job. In today’s time, with the public’s eyes and ears on conversations behind the company’s doors and wide-spread changes about what can be asked or not asked of a candidate, illegal questions still continue to be asked. You have options! First, decide if you want to answer the question. You can also attempt to work-around the question and move on. You can also decide to question the relevancy of the information asked to your candidacy. If the questions being asked of you are particularly egregious, ask yourself “Do I want to work for this employer?”
INAPPROPRIATE WORKPLACE BEHAVIOR. Always make observations and take note of the environment during in-person interviews. Do you overhear inappropriate conversations or see someone being mistreated? How are you received when you arrive for the interview? Impressions are everything. Regardless of the type of job you are interviewing for, professionalism should be a must-have.
VAGUE RESPONSES. I usually recommend that you have 7-10 questions ready to ask during an interview. Some of the questions will have been answered during the interview so it is better to have more than not enough. If you receive vague answers to your questions, try asking the question in a different way. Depending on the nature of the question and the reason for your question, it is possible the employer is holding back information that could be a determining factor for your continued interest in the position. It doesn’t happen often, as employers usually want you to know just as much about them as they want to know about you. Your goal is to be as informed as possible so that you can feel comfortable with your decision to move forward or not.
Even as a job seeker, you are interviewing the employer and determining whether this is where you want to work. It is key that you do your research and explore public information such as articles that give clues to what is happening or has happened at the company or organization. Be curious. Ask questions. Do your research. We all go into a new job with intentions to stay and grow. Don’t accept any offer. Accept an offer at a place where you will feel happy, productive and confident. My Winning Interview Preparation Worksheet will help you keep everything you need in one place.