Job interview red flags and warning signs

A majority of Gen Z, or those born after 1997, 79%, and Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, 61%, will likely be looking for a new job this year, according to a recent Bankrate survey of 2,449 adults.

If you are looking for a new jobyou’ll want to watch for any red flags throughout the maintenance process to make sure it’s both a good fit for you and not a toxic place in general.

“We have so much information at our disposal now,” says Julie Bauke, Founder and Chief Career Strategist at The Bauke Group. There are many things you can learn before you even apply. But during the interview process, it’s a great time to assess whether this is a place you want to work.

Here’s how to spot some red flags about a potential employer.

How to tell if an employer is “trying to hide something”

The pandemic has “taken away the ability to meet people in person,” says Bauke. This made it harder to “see what they look like in their office environment, read their facial expressions” and better understand whether or not you’re fit.

As more companies return to the office, the ability to interview in person is also returning. “A red flag would be that they don’t give you the option to meet anyone in person, if possible,” Bauke says. For her, that means they might be “trying to hide something,” like disgruntled company employees or an undesirable work environment.

Many companies hire remote workers who live far enough away that meeting in person isn’t an option. Some companies have not yet returned to the office. And some companies have given up office space altogether, making in-person interview opportunities more difficult.

When interviewing, take things on a case-by-case basis and be wary of any employer who seems particularly opposed to the idea of ​​you meeting employees face-to-face.

“Behavioral patterns repeated over time are part of the corporate culture”

Another part of the process to consider: how does your future boss treat you?

If the hiring manager “shows up late, doesn’t apologize, constantly reschedules your call – and it’s at a time when he needs to impress you – what does that say about how that person going to treat you when you show up and start working for them?” says Gorick Ng, Harvard career counselor and author of “The unspoken rules.”

Video by Courtney Stith

That kind of disrespect doesn’t bode well when you’re an employee and they have influence over you, he says. This could make your working life in this company very difficult. Additionally, it could be indicative of how employees are treated in the company as a whole.

Patterns of behavior repeated over time are part of corporate culture,” he says.

Ask: Why are you working here?

To get a good idea of ​​what it’s like to work at a company, come to the interview process prepared with very specific questions.

Bauke suggests requesting a version of the following:

  • How has your corporate culture changed since the pandemic?
  • Why do you work here?
  • What does success look like in this organization?

These might give you an idea of ​​what to expect as an employee, especially if the answers are vague and unclear. If the hiring manager can’t tell you why they want to work at this company, how can you be sure you will?

You can even be more specific by asking questions such as, “What are the most exciting and frustrating aspects of this role? What do you expect me to accomplish in my first week, first month, first year, first trimester? said Ng.

“You ask about behaviors,” he says. “You ask, really, how things are done.”

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