6 Red Flags Interviewees Should Notice Before Accepting a Job


Interviews aren’t just for impressing the interviewer — the interviewee should be impressed, too. When entering the interview process, it’s important to be an observant job candidate. Although you are being interviewed, make sure you keep an eye out for red flags. Sometimes, the interview can be the first sign the job isn’t for you.

Wondering if you need to pay closer attention during your next interview? Here are six red flags job seekers should notice:

1. Was the interview process too long? If you have spent almost a month going through the employer’s interview process, maybe you should reconsider if this job is worth your time. Employers who make the interview process longer than necessary can show they’re indecisive. If it’s a competitive position, employers should already have an idea of who they want to hire. Therefore, if you make the cut, the interview process should move quickly.

2. Are there signs of turnover? Don’t be afraid to ask the employer why they are hiring for the position you applied for. It’s important to ask because it can provide more information about the employer. Feel free to ask how long the last employee worked in that position as well. If you discover their previous employees held the position for only two or three years, this could be a sign of no opportunity for growth within the company.

3. Did you stump the interviewer? Candidates should always come prepared with research and questions about the company. You can easily impress the recruiter by asking questions like, “How would you like to increase the success of the company by next year?” or “What will I accomplish in the next six months as an employee?” However, if these questions come as a challenge to the interviewer and they lack confidence in their response, this could be a sign the employer doesn’t view their employees as an asset to the company.

4. Your values don’t match the company’s. If you’re sitting in the interview and the hiring manager is explaining their mission, but it doesn’t align with your morals, you may want to search elsewhere. It’s very important to have a job where you can believe in the company’s values and ethical standards are in place.

5. They’re trying too hard to sell you the job. Does the interviewer seem to be pushing the position upon you? If you feel like the offer is irresistible, but the interviewer is begging you to accept; you may want to ask yourself a few questions. Job seekers shouldn’t feel the need to convince themselves to accept a job offer they really want. If the interviewer continues on about endless perks and benefits, you may want to find out for yourself if they’re telling the truth.

6. There is no hint of a future. A common question asked by interviewers is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” If the recruiter hasn’t asked you about how you imagine your future with the company, this may be a sign there is no opportunities to be promoted. Job seekers want the opportunity to move up in their careers and if there’s a hint of no promotion in their future, maybe you should look for a different opportunity.

Remember, it’s important not to settle during the job search. If you feel a position doesn’t line up with your career goals, it’s okay to be selective. Even though the next opportunity may not be your dream job, make sure you accept a position where you can work toward accomplishing your career goals.

What red flags have you experienced from an interviewer? Did those signs change your perspective of the position?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.


  1. Jim says

    I am so frustrated I could scream. First interview over the phone. Second interview in person (and I disclosed this was 40 minutes away from home) with 7 people. Third interview in person with two more people at the same location. Fourth interview with two people, supposed to be three but the third could not be found even after we searched two floors for him. Fifth interview on the phone (time changed once the same day of the call). Sixth interview in person with the third guy who could not be found in interview four. Sixth interview scheduled the same day it needed to happen. I offered a phone interview since the guy was unavailable last time I was in the office and since he wanted a meeting the same day, but no. The fourth, fifth, and sixth are with a different department than the one I’d be in. What this tells me is that there is some bitter distrust between the two departments and some pretty huge egos involved. Although this is for a senior role, I find the extent of this highly disturbing. Am I wrong?

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