People Share What They Consider Red Flags During A Job Interview
by Trisha Leigh
Job searching is one of the worst things on the planet, but if any good news has come out of the past several years, it’s that employees are more willing to walk away from companies that clearly don’t have their best interests at heart.
So if you’re in the process of interviewing, here are some red flags you should definitely look out for.
When they ask out of no where what clients can you bring with you.
I always ask about training and learning curves. Every job I’ve had that went wrong- I notice that when that question came up they stumbled.
The current job I have, when I asked the question they had sparks in their eyes as they explained the whole process from day 1 of shadowing to the transition to working solo.
And even when covid hit they managed to continue without skipping a beat.
Props for honesty.
This actually happened to me:
Interviewer: Do you have any questions for us?
Me: what is a challenge this department has recently faced?
Interviewer: Job security
They told me all about their generous severance packages.
In the initial interview.
Besides always hiring, they seem almost overly eager to say, “Yes, we could do that!” to everything you ask.
No job will have literally everything you want, and if your gut is telling you they seem to be promising a bit more than they can offer, they likely are.
“Well, the overtime isn’t mandatory, but most folks stick around after hours most days.”
Spoilers: The overtime is mandatory.
Take your time.
When you are signing all the forms they give you and you are taking your time to read over every document so that you can fully understand what you are getting into.
And people come in and start telling you that you don’t need to read this and that just sign here and so on.
Was interviewed by a Senior programmer and the department head. The department head was continuously making condescending remarks towards the other interviewer.
Poor guy just sounded broken. Hope he’s somewhere else now.
I was working with an indie game studio, as a modeler, texture artist. It was just for fun, and making contacts. The game we were working on started picking up traction, and had studios looking to pick us up. The lead on the project immediately got together with an attorney, and drafted up contracts. Not a problem.
I got mine, but there wasn’t a rush, and since I had to do regular work for bills, I kind of ignored it for a couple days.
The lead and his attorney started bombarding me with emails, telling me to sign it. I replied with “after I read it, I’ll let you know” I immediately got a phone call from the attorney, assuring me it was “all just standard stuff” and “if I wanted to secure my position in the studio, I should just sign it”
Red flags everywhere. So when I had time, I read it, and I’m glad I did. It stated that anything I worked on in my personal time, which I did a lot of as an artist, was their property, and I had no rights to even show it. If I left the studio for any reason, I couldn’t work in the video games industry for a minimum of 12 months. Even though I was working for free I was not allowed to take a paid position at any other game studio, while working with them. The list went on.
I told them I wasn’t gonna sign that, and if they pressed I was leaving. They pressed, I left. Find later that the lead started the studio, hired people, then drained the accounts, sold the hardware, locked the doors, and never returned.
Dodged a bullet.
On a second interview the general manager brought me into the conference room with his 8 managers present. At first I thought it was a meet and greet but no, they grilled me for an hour and a half. Didn’t appreciate that along with a couple other things and politely withdrew from being considered.
Couple months later I’m playing in a ball tournament and come across one of the managers. I mentioned how weird that interview was. He says ‘Weird for you? Ha! I found out then and there you were being interviewed for my job!’.
Yep, dodged a bullet there.
“Wearing many hats.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but “you’ll be wearing many hats” was a sign that they were going to give me the work of four positions and the wage of one.
I didn’t last a year there before I left and now I won’t even finish reading job ads that include that line.
They don’t try to hide it.
Once an interviewer straight up asked me if I had any trouble working for free on weekends…
I told them my free time is more valuable than anything and that the only way that I would work a weekend is if they are paying me and if I felt like working a weekend. She got really mad at me and ended the interview right away.
Biggest red flag I’ve ever seen because they didn’t even try to hide it.
I think that’s illegal.
“You are required to wear clothing that has the company logo. You must purchase it yourself. From the company.”
Don’t sign that.
I was once part of a group onboarding for an IT job. They handed us all the one-page new hire “contract” and everyone except me signed immediately. When I read the paperwork, I discovered we were signing a mystery document.
Clauses included “I agree to abide by the personal search and seizure security policy (attached).” Without other pages, there was no way to determine what I was agreeing to.
I kept requesting more and more pages until the HR drone said “ok, I guess [me] is just determined to hold everyone up. We will handle you separately if you’re struggling so much.”
After I walked out and drove home, I called the hiring manager to apologize for not taking the job. He informed me that HR reported I had walked out after refusing to be drug tested
I once showed up for an interview and the manager wasn’t there that day. No one called me to let me know.
The assistant manager was not apologetic for the scheduling issue at all. She was literally just like “oh, she’s not here today” in a tone that suggested I should somehow already know that. She said they would call me to reschedule some time the next week. I told her I was currently unavailable M-W but could come in any time Th-F. She said if I couldn’t make time for the interview, I probably wouldn’t be a good fit. I said okay, and went on to my other interviews and ending up working elsewhere.
You’d think that would be the end of it, but both the manager and the assistant manager badmouthed me to a few other people in the industry, including one of my friends.
Hello? I made time for an interview. You disrespected me by not calling me to let me know it was canceled. I gave you the times I was available to reschedule, and that was disrespectful somehow?
Should have listened.
Last job I worked.
“Yea, everyone here is new, but it’s totally because of covid”
“The boss doesn’t like people going out to get lunch because they’re afraid you’ll never come back, so being your own lunch”
“You’ll get weird looks if you leave on time”. It was a chinese owned company with heavy chinese work culture influence so you were expected to stay overtime all week.
Also “the people here are nice but it’s pretty stressful”.
Eta: also was told by my trainer “you want to know the best advice I can give you? Find another job”. This was like…my 2nd week in.
The expectations aren’t clear.
Jobs where the expectations of the position aren’t clear. The person hiring you should be able to give a clear idea of your responsibilities are day to day in a practical way. It shows that the company understands what it wants out of the position.
I’ve worked a couple positions that had a really hard time figuring out who was supposed to do what that lead to a lot of confusion and both of them had this in the interviews. If the company you’re working for can’t define what success in that position looks like you won’t be able to either.
My favorite is ‘there’s alot of people waiting in line to work here, count yourself lucky.
Huge red flag.
I agree with all of these.
Definitely listen to your instincts, folks.