Skip to content
Red Flags to Watch Out for During a Job Interview


Red Flags to Watch Out for During a Job Interview

Franklin Buchanan |

We all know that job interviews are a chance for you to get the know the company, too, but it’s easy to forget that when it feels like you’re in the hot seat. When recruiters start to fire off questions, you’re probably not focusing on their body language or the buzzwords they use – you’re just trying to remember what you wanted to say about your greatest accomplishment.

But it’s important to pay attention to how recruiters behave towards you (and anyone else in the room) because it tells you a lot about the company’s culture. Plus, the people who interview you will most likely be working with you if you take the job, so if you don’t like them in the interview, you probably won’t be happy reporting to them, either.

If you notice any of these red flags during the interview process, you might want to cut your losses and keep looking.

The Recruiter Shows Up Late or Unprepared

You would never show up late to an interview, so why is it ok for them to wander into the conference room ten minutes past the start time? Is it because their schedule is overbooked, or are they just bad at time management?

Or if they’re unprepared, has the recruiter met with so many applicants that day that they have trouble remembering who is who? Or do senior-level managers at that company simply lack respect for new hires?

Of course, we’re all late sometimes. But unless the recruiter is apologetic and offers an explanation, their reason for being late probably isn’t a good one.

They’re a Little Too Vague

It’s understandable why most recruiters and hiring managers won’t share everything about their current projects or clients before you’ve been hired, but if they’re a little too vague about the company’s mission and trajectory or your job description details, something might be up.

For example, if they can’t say what metrics they’d use to measure success in your position, it could be that they don’t know what they want from the person they hire — which could result in setting you up for disappointment if you don’t meet the expectations they didn’t share. And if a recruiter tells you that they’re looking for someone who will “go the extra mile” or “wear many hats,” be prepared to still be getting emails at 8 p.m..

There’s a Revolving Door

You don’t have to look for a company where all the employees are married to their positions (that’s probably a red flag, too), but if the majority of your potential coworkers are relatively new, that’s a sign of a low retention rate. While no company willingly advertises a high turnover rate, it’s completely fair to ask, “Where have the people who’ve held this position in the past moved on to?”

The Hiring Process is Unnecessarily Long…

Having to jump through hoops just to get in touch with an HR rep might be reflective of the disorganized workflows or hierarchies you’d have to navigate as an employee. And while every employer has the right to vet a potential candidate, putting you through multiple rounds of phone screenings and background checks to determine your “viability” could be a sign that this isn’t the welcoming and collaborative environment you’re looking for.

…Or It’s Ridiculously Short

The hiring process should be all about getting to know you and what you would bring to the organization you’re applying to. But if a recruiter barely asks you any questions (beginning and ending with, “So, what kind of experience do you have?”) before moving you on to the next round, they’re probably more interested in getting the role filled than they are in finding the best possible candidate.

While a short hiring process might feel like a blessing at the moment, you don’t want to find out that your new coworkers are a little less-than-qualified later down the line. You also don’t want to be hired for a job that is either far beyond the scope of your experience or isn’t challenging enough.

Franklin Buchanan can help you land the perfect job no matter what phase of your career you’re in. We’ll help you navigate every stage of the job search process, from initial goal-setting to salary negotiations. Contact us here to schedule a career coaching appointment.

Recent Blog Posts

What Your Resume Summary is Doing Wrong

A summary on your resume is a great way to begin branding yourself in the eyes of the reader.

Read more
3 More Things to Delete Off Your Resume

Make sure your resume is up to date with relevant sections and content.

Read more
Little Details of a Successful Job Search

Do the little things in your job search to set yourself up for success.

Read more
Color on the Resume?

Let your accomplishments speak for themselves on your resume.

Read more


Your cart is currently empty.

Select options