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Red Flags to Recognize in Your Next Interview

Sending out a resume or submitting one online takes preparation and time, but it doesn’t come close to the amount you need when planning for an interview. Going through the interview process can make interviewees feel like they are on the hot seat when the interviewer should be the one under the microscope.

So here are 6 red flags to recognize in your next interview.

Disorganized Presentation

Imagine if leading up to the actual interview, there were multiple reschedules. It makes sense that things could change, but when it becomes a pattern, that’s a sign of disorganization. On the other hand, if things go smoothly leading up to the interview and you make it to the interview chair, your disorganization radar should still be on alert. Are they stepping over their words or jumping from one thought to the next without any real direction? If a company isn’t willing to prepare to interview someone who brings you value to the table, is the job worth it?

Contradictory Values

Before you go into an interview:

  1. Make a list of non-negotiables and stick with it.
  2. If DEI initiatives are important to you, ask the questions you need during the interview to determine if the company is a good fit for you.
  3. Make sure the questions are more in-depth and open-ended.

For example, instead of asking, “do you have DEI initiatives?” Instead, ask, “what do you do to ensure you implement DEI initiatives?”

Lack of Consistency

How clear are your questions being answered? Is there a vagueness to what you’re being told, or is the interviewer giving you tangible examples to answer you? A good recruiter or interviewer will be specific about the role’s responsibility and explain them thoroughly. If this doesn’t happen, something about the job or company might be lacking. They might be confused about what they are looking for or need, which means there are no clear expectations about the position, setting up whoever takes the job for failure.

Gut Feeling

Did the interview include a two-way conversation with both parties interested and engaged? If you don’t feel a connection with the interviewer, don’t ignore it. Your gut feeling is very powerful, and you should note it throughout the interview process. What you feel during the first interview might not be the same during the third one. Consider it.

Inappropriate Conversation

Go into an interview knowing the questions that are off the table. This includes anything focusing on:

  • Age
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Sex
  • Marital Status
  • Religion
  • Whether or Not You’re a Parent or Plan to be One
  • Health

If you’re not sure the questions fall directly within these topics, consider how you feel when the question is asked. If you feel uncomfortable, the question is inappropriate. If an interviewer is ok with asking an inappropriate question during an interview, think of how uncomfortable you might feel working for a company that tolerates it, or worse, trains interviewers this way.

Job Offers with Deadline

Do you have a hard out on when you need to decide on a job offer? What if the interviewee is still in the process with other companies? It creates unneeded and inconsiderate pressure on them. Getting a job offer with a deadline is the same as an ultimatum. Think of how that makes you feel as an interviewee. If the company knew how valuable you were, they would be willing to wait until you were ready. And as a quality prospect, that’s what you deserve.

What red flags have you experienced during an interview? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Coaching Employees Who Are Hard on Themselves.