W Power 2024

Don't ignore these 'red flags' during a job interview

There are certain signals, or "red flags," to be on the lookout for as they may be a sign of questionable managerial practices

Published: Mar 5, 2024 12:24:42 PM IST
Updated: Mar 5, 2024 12:36:43 PM IST

Don't ignore these 'red flags' during a job interviewA A job interview is an opportunity to find out whether or not a company is right for you. Image: Shutterstock

Job interviews are often analyzed from the recruiter's point of view—what kinds of answers or behaviors are they looking out for? But interviews are also an important source of information for the interviewees, a key opportunity for them to find out more about the company they are considering joining. And there are certain signals, or "red flags," to be on the lookout for as they may be a sign of questionable managerial practices.

Live-answering telecom company VoiceNation surveyed 1,500 Americans to find out what kinds of "red flags" set off warning bells in their head during a job interview. They found that 38% of those surveyed take a very dim view of companies that don't disclose a salary range for the position they're looking to fill. This lack of transparency about pay during the recruitment process isn't uniquely seen in the USA. Many French people, for instance, complain about seeing the phrase "salary based on profile/experience" in the job offers they consult.

This is particularly poorly viewed as failing to indicate a salary range contributes to reinforcing pay inequalities within the workforce. Numerous studies show, for example, that men are more inclined to negotiate a salary that seems fairer, whereas women are more likely to accept what they are initially offered. This explains, in part, why women are paid less than men for equivalent working hours and positions.

The recruiter's lack of availability is another "red flag," with continual rescheduling of the interview cited in 25% of cases. It's not unusual for a job interview to have to be postponed for any number of reasons. But if this happens several times, it can arouse suspicion. Candidates may see it as a sign that the company they're applying to doesn't see recruitment as one of its priorities and may therefore lose interest in it in favor of another one that is more respectful of their time.

Also read: Could humour be your best ally in a job interview?

On the lookout for clues about company culture

A quarter of employees surveyed don't appreciate being asked irrelevant or personal questions by the interviewer. In principle, a job interview should focus on the candidate's previous professional experience and aptitudes ("soft skills," "hard skills," training, etc.). Sometimes, however, topics relating to private life, such as family life, are discussed. It's a good idea to keep calm and politely deflect the question, explaining, for example, that your family situation will not prevent you from carrying out the tasks entrusted to you. Whatever answer you give to these intrusive questions, pay close attention to the recruiter's reaction. This will give you clues about the company's culture.

Another major "red flag" is lack of respect. An interviewer who is openly unpleasant or contemptuous of their colleagues is a very bad sign and may reflect a toxic working environment. When in doubt, it's always a good idea to get in touch with one or more employees of the company you're thinking of joining. Their feedback will give you a clearer idea of the overall atmosphere at the company.

In general, trust your instincts. A job interview is an opportunity to find out whether or not a company is right for you. So don't hesitate to ask any questions you feel are important to make an informed decision. Also, keep an eye out for potential "red flags": they can be hidden in small details. For example, be wary if the interviewer is evasive or inconsistent when you ask for precise information about the position you're applying for; this may mean that it's not quite as advertised.

Post Your Comment
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated