There’s plenty of detailed information on the internet about how to ace a job interview or how to prepare for an interview. This is of course useful for getting ready beforehand, but it assumes that you’ll always want to take the job if it’s offered.
You might finish a job interview and realize that you don’t want to continue with the recruitment process. That’s okay. Remember, job interviews are just as much for the candidate to determine if they want the role as they are for the hiring manager to assess the candidate’s suitability. An interview is key in telling you when you should turn down an offer of employment.
There are some obvious red flags that you should look out for during an interview that may just sway your decision. In this article, we highlight the ones you should know. Let’s get started!
The hiring manager isn’t professional during the job interview
The way a hiring manager behaves can tell you a lot about your future experience in a company or as part of a work team.
If your hiring manager bad-mouths former employees (or worse, current employees), consider that a serious red flag. This kind of behaviour may indicate that gossip is the status quo. Personal information should not get revealed in professional settings.
Another red flag is how the hiring manager treats you directly. If they waste your time by arriving very late to the interview, don’t let you ask questions, brush off your queries, or talk to you in a condescending way, then take note. These are signs of a manager that might be difficult to work with in the future. Their behaviour during the interview is often a preview of what you’ll encounter every day if you were to accept the job.
It goes without saying that there should be zero tolerance for racism, sexism, ageism or discrimination of any kind. If your hiring manager makes discriminatory comments or asks questions that are not appropriate, you should seriously reconsider continuing with the hiring process.
The hiring manager can’t provide specific details about the job offer
Your hiring manager probably won’t have every clause of your future health insurance policy memorized, but they should know the most important details of the job and its benefits.
Here are some of the main details you should be provided with during an interview:
- Job responsibilities
- Performance expectations
- Working hours
- Work location or remote work arrangements
- Supervising manager
- Benefits and perks
- Annual time off
- Equipment and technology provided
- Salary (this might only apply later in the hiring process)
If the interviewer purposely avoids giving you this information or gives you contradictory or vague responses, consider that a red flag raised. If you can’t get a straightforward answer, maybe it’s because the answer isn’t a very good one.
Of course, if they don’t have the answers you need right away, that doesn’t mean you have to turn around and walk out. It’s reasonable to ask them to pass your question on to HR and get the answer to you before you accept the job.
The point is, you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision. It’s the employer’s responsibility to make their hiring process as transparent as possible, so you’re within your right to request this information!
You discover a high turnover rate during the job interview
The rate of turnover at a company can tell you a lot about what it’s like to work there. It’s always a good idea to ask the hiring manager how long their employees stay at the organization.
If they’re interviewing you because the last person quit after a week on the job, that should pique your curiosity. A good manager typically has a loyal team around them. Of course, resignations happen, but it’s in your best interest to find out if it was an amicable departure or a sign of a poor working environment.
You can investigate this further by searching through your online network to see if you know anyone who works at the company. If you have a LinkedIn profile, search the company name and you’ll be able to see if any of your contacts work there or are an ex-employee. Reach out to them with a few questions about the work environment, managers, benefits, company culture and career development opportunities. This is one of the best ways to gain genuine insight into whether this job is right for you!
The job interview process isn’t organized
Did your interview get pushed back? Did the receptionist know you were coming? Was the hiring manager prepared with questions? A quality company will show job candidates respect during the interview process, from start to finish. Disorganization during an interview is likely a reflection of other dysfunctional processes elsewhere in the company.
Organization during the interview process can also tell you a lot about the early stages of employment. It’s important to feel confident starting a new job knowing that the HR department and your new manager have an organized onboarding process ready for you. If the hiring process is particularly disorganized, this could mean that you’ll struggle to find support as you get established as a new hire, too.
In theory, the interview process is where an employer shows you the best they can offer so that you feel more inclined to join their team. If they’re not prepared for the interview, you may have cause for concern.
Your role isn’t clear in the job interview
Before you accept a job, you should have a clear idea of what a typical work week will entail. A job title alone is not enough. You should be given a detailed outline of your role so that you know whether it’s right for you, and so that you can assess whether the pay and benefits are in line with the job offer.
The hiring manager should be able to tell you what you’ll be accountable for, what will be expected of you and what types of projects are upcoming. They should also have no trouble detailing the gradual increase in responsibilities and expectations at one month, three months, six months and one year into your employment.
Don’t overlook these details. They’re fundamental in understanding if you should accept or reject a position. If your employer doesn’t provide you with this kind of foresight, it could cause you some serious surprises, disappointments and issues at a later date.
The job interview process reveals that morale is low
Here’s where your emotional intelligence comes in and you’ll need to read between the lines during your job interview. Can you sniff out what the team morale is during the interview?
Ask the hiring manager what they like about their job and what their experience in the workplace has been. Listen not only to what they say but pay close attention to how they say it, too. Is their answer generic or vague? Do the responses and reactions seem genuine?
From the moment you walk in the door, everyone you meet from the company during interview day can tell you a lot about company culture. Your hiring manager in particular should be excited about their job and should inspire you to join the company and work on upcoming projects. If you meet a lot of people who seem run down and unenthusiastic, then this should be a red flag. Low morale is as contagious as high morale, so think twice before accepting a job where those around you don’t seem to love what they do!
Now that you know which red flags to look out for, why not take a look through the latest job vacancies on the Adecco Canada website? We’ve got jobs in almost every industry across the country, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye!