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Job Interview Red Flags

4 signs to look out for in your next job interview


This is becoming such a hot topic as of late, but why? With The Great Resignation more interviews are being held, and with these interviews, job seekers do not want to be entering a work place/role which resembles the reason they resigned in the first place. So before we go down the red flag rabbit hole, let us first discuss The Great Resignation.

The Great Resignation:

In short, The Great Resignation is where employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs due to not being satisfied with the working conditions; salary; company culture; industry; duties; management style and so on.

This ‘trend’ has blown a wave across the employment market causing significant economical impact, skill shortages and has even led to some employees feeling a sense of The Great Regret. However, regret aside, it is still necessary for individuals to find a new role, and to find one that does not mirror the reason why they left their old job in the first place. So let’s go….red flag time.

Signs To Look Out For

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1. Hiring Manager makes you wait for an extensive period of time before commencing the job interview 

I cannot tell you how disrespectful this is and a sign of a narcissistic manager. This is a window to the future working with such a manager- under paid, over worked, no gratification, high expectations from you, expecting you to be a yes person, etc. This is especially so if no one comes out to you to apologise or explain why there is a delay. This shows you further that this is the cultural norm of the organisation.

On the same token, make sure you yourself are on time for the job interview, respect for time should go both ways. Coming 10 – 15 minutes before the interview start time is ideal.


2. The role details have changed between the time you applied and the time you interview

So you see a great role online, duties seem reasonable, hours seem ok, location as well (perhaps it is a hybrid work from home/office position), then suddenly at the interview the hiring manager is describing a totally different role to you. You may even confirm if you are in the right interview room…’yes yes’ says the hiring manager and then continues to explain that the role also includes XYZ and suddenly the hours are different, it is no longer a hybrid role, the job title may have even changed. Our advice; do not accept the job. Unless the position sounds even better than you were hoping for (which let us face it, that would rarely be the case), you are walking into a trap.

Expect a poor culture, poor management, extra work beyond your scope of abilities, additional working hours and so on. You may think this is not possible or likely to happen, but we assure you, this happens more often than you would imagine. Your potential future employer has started off on a lie and if you value your time, yourself and your career; this is not the company you want to work for.

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3. The hiring manager wont discuss the company culture or provide clarity in the role / company 

If the hiring manager is avoiding the question about company culture, why the role is open, what the turnover is like, detailed information about the position and they cannot look you in the eye when they discuss what is it like working for the company, then chances are it is negative and/or toxic workplace with no real direction or structure.

If the culture was good, supportive, happy and it was an enjoyable workplace with clear direction, then the hiring manager would be excited to share that with you. Their face would glow and they would seem genuine.


4. Inappropriate questions

Rule of thumb – if the question has nothing to do with the role, then it should not be asked.

So questions such as “what is your religion?”, “Are you married?”, “Are you expecting children?”, “What is your sexuality preferences?”, and even smilingly innocent questions such as “What is your favourite football team?”, and “What do you enjoy doing on the weekends?”, can be very discriminatory questions and can show you the type of lines the company is willing to cross when it comes to professionalism, discrimination and even culture.

There are many different red flags to look out for and if we listed them all, it would be a book rather than a career based article. However, these four are the most common and ones which you can easily identify. However, do look out for other signs such as – the hiring manager is unable to provide clear or detailed answers about the role and its future direction; unable to tell you about your career path in the company; the hiring manager uses lots of buzz words but no real substance to describe the role; there are too many interviews and the whole process is drawn out; you do not find a connection with the hiring manager (that is important) and the company is seriously underpaying the position.

If you need help with your job interviews, we do have a great job interview coaching package, check it out and see how we can help.


My Career Angels…helping you become who you want to be

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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