Look Out for These 10 Red Flags in Job Interviews
- Author: Jeffrey Simmons
- Posted: 2023-01-08
The Great Resignation of 2021 has continued into 2022. People are searching for jobs that offer better pay, a hybrid or remote work location, comprehensive benefits and more vacation time. Once you start to interview for a new job, look out for these 10 red flags.
1. The Manager Isn't Excited
The manager should function as a salesperson. If they don't try to sell you on the company and the job itself, worry. The manager has inside information you don't have, and there could be one or more solid reasons why they're just not into their own company.
2. Disorganized Interview Process
The interview process should have a clear pathway. At some organizations, it begins with a talk with a recruiter or someone from human resources. In other companies, you start with the hiring manager. If the process is disorganized, fragmented or otherwise unclear, this suggests that the company lacks processes and methods. You may end up disappointed if you choose to work for a business with unclear quality and screening procedures.
3. You Can't Reach Anyone in HR
The HR department should be readily available to answer basic questions, such as whether or not you'll need a background check, physical or drug screening. If you can't get anyone from HR to reply to your email or voicemail, something isn't right. They may be understaffed, overworked or simply unprofessional. This could lead to issues if you end up wanting to negotiate salary or you have a problem later on, such as a payroll discrepancy.
4. Too Many Personal Questions
During the interview process, the hiring manager or HR specialist may ask you a few personal questions, such as your short-term career goals or if you're comfortable with overnight travel for the job. It's not okay for them to ask about whether or not you plan to have a baby in the next two years, whether or not you're married or your age. If they ask too many personal questions or broach sensitive topics, such as religion or sexual orientation, these are huge red flags and potentially illegal practices.
5. Excessive Rounds of Interviews
At large companies, three rounds of interviews are the norm. Expect to talk to HR or the recruiter, then a team of hiring managers, then the hiring manager who would supervise you. You may even have a team interview with your prospective coworkers. If a company requires more than five interviews, they may be stalling you or waiting on their first choice to respond to an offer.
6. Requiring You to Perform an Extensive Task
In IT and other specialties, part of the interview process often involves asking the candidate to write a program or solve a problem. If you're asked to do a task that involves a full day's work, the company may be trying to get free work from qualified candidates instead of paying for freelancers or contractors.
7. Lack of Diversity
If you don't see a mix of backgrounds, ages, races and genders during your interview process, this could also be a red flag. A lack of diversity might mean that people who are a part of underrepresented groups don't feel comfortable at that employer.
8. Disrespect of Your Time
Interviewers and recruiters should respect your time. They're likely to write you off if you show up late. If an interviewer is more than a few minutes late and offers no apology or explanation, they're disrespecting you and your time. When you receive this type of disrespect as a candidate, expect it to continue if you were an employee of the company.
9. No Response to Your Questions
Managers, recruiters and HR specialists should respond to your questions within a few business days. For example, if you ask about how they will make their hiring decision, they should give you a clear answer and timeline. If you get no response to your questions, the company may not value you as a candidate or care enough to take the time to address your queries.
10. Demanding You Immediately Respond to an Offer
Most managers and companies recognize that candidates apply for more than one job and may be interviewing with several businesses. If you receive an offer and get pressured into responding within 24 hours, they may be hoping that you don't read the fine print of the job offer and skip over important details related to your duties, compensation or benefits.