5 Interview Process Red Flags

Going through an job interview is stressful. The interviewer is there to grill you and make darn sure that you are the right candidate for the job and that they wont regret hiring you.

But this is a two way street, and you need to walk away from any interview with an idea if you even want to work there. If any of these red flags pops up during your interview process, you should really consider moving along in your job search before you get waste deep in a job that makes you miserable.


Red Flag #1: The hiring process is unorganized and chaotic

  • You’re asked for the same information twelve times by eight different people before even talking to the hiring manager.

  • Your emailed an interview request twenty minutes before the interview is supposed to happen.

  • You’re told it’s a video interview but were never sent an invitation link.

  • The hiring manager is 29 minutes late to the half hour interview.

  • You’re asked questions that show the interviewer didn’t even read your resume

  • The company takes forever to get back to you on the next steps of the interview process.

The hiring process is never as simple as we think it should be, but if they have an entire HR team incapable of scheduling an interview, and have you jumping through hoops just to not even read your resume, you have to wonder if this cluster of a hiring process is just the tip of the iceberg. Why would working there be any more organized?


Red Flag #2: You can't figure out what you’ll actually be doing

It’s one thing when the job description is vague. Often times these job descriptions are a wish list or a generalist description of the position. Usually the HR department Is the one in charge of creating these job listings, and sometimes they just don’t have the information to provide a detailed description of tasks required for the job. But here’s the thing, when you’re talking to the hiring manager, it is vital that you ask what your responsibilities would be and what your daily tasks would consist of.

When you ask about your day to day, you should be able to walk away with a general understanding of what you’ll be doing, even if you don’t fully know the details. If they use lots of meaningless buzzwords to describe your job, but never really tell you what you’re doing, that’s when you should consider being extra cautious. If you see that along with any of these other indicators, consider going for a different position.


Red Flag #3: You get the job... too easily

Had a 15 minute screener call and they want to hire you?! They must have caught on to how incredible you are quick! Without even talking to you! Honestly, that just shows how good they are at spotting talent.

Sound too good to be true? Most of the time it is. When they don’t vet your skills or personality that means something else is going on that should set off your spidey-senses. We would all love interviews to be that easy, but, if they’re willing to hire your without seeing if you’re good for the position, who else have they hired that is unqualified to be there. In reality, there are really two reasons why you might get the job and feel like it was too easy.

no skills are particularly needed for the job. Anybody can do it. They just need a person there and they don’t much care who that is.

More likely... They’re desperate. Sure, you need 10 years of experience to be able to effectively do this job (10 years of experience that you don’t have), but for some reason, the last person who had this job left suddenly, leading to your good fortune. Which leads straight into the next red flag that you should be looking out for...


Red Flag #4: High company turnover

  • Have ten different people had the job you’re going for in the last year?

  • Does Glassdoor have a negative 3 star review on this company?

If you see current employees bolting for the exits, that’s a clear and obvious sign that there’s something wrong with that company. It could be an awful boss or an insidious company culture. Either way, when you hear that nobody can keep this job, that’s a clear indicator that there’s something wrong with the job, not the employees. You might not always be able to tell just from the interview if there’s high company turnover. A good way to gage this is to ask the manager if there are some team members who you could talk to about their views on working at the company. If just the thought of you hearing real feedback from current employees concerns the hiring manager, it should concern you too. And that brings us to our final major red flag that you should never ignore...


#5 hiring manager badmouths other employees during the interview

It’s not only unprofessional, it’s childish. If a manager is willing to badmouth a coworker to a potential new hire, you can bet they wont have a problem throwing you under the bus the second it benefits them. It’s that kind of petty high school drama that makes for an awful work environment.

You need to know your manager’s got your back, and if they’re selling out coworkers in an interview, why would they be any better to work for every day.

I’m not saying your boss needs to be your best friend, but there’s a minimum level of professionalism and decency that you should expect if you’re hoping to have a job that wont make you miserable day in and day out.

If you run into one or more of these red flags while going through the interview process, take some time to consider how much you really know about this job. It’s almost always worth it to hold off for a job that’s a better fit than waste time in a job that you’ll end up leaving 6 weeks later.

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