17 Important Red Flags To Look For When Interviewing For A Job, Especially For Recent Grads

job interview red flags


When it comes to job interviews being prepared might be the most important thing you can do to ensure success. There really isn’t any such thing as being too prepared for something as important as a job interview.

Which is why over the years we’ve shared a lot of interview tips both from well-respected business executives to leadership experts to just the average Joe.

We’ve also shared many of the things you should NOT do in a job interview, which might be just as important to know and what you should be doing.

Today’s topic turns the tables and covers the job interview from the perspective of you, the person being interviewed, and reveals some of red flags that YOU should look out for when being interviewed.

See if any of these red flags reported by folks over on Reddit sound familiar. (Trust me, these are legit. I have personally experienced almost all of them.)

When the pay that is advertised is suddenly different in the interview. ~ PM_ME_YOUR_THEREMIN

I had one company say that they still wanted to see more candidates for the job, but I could take a different job they had at lower pay to give them a little while longer to try and get the best person for the job. I said I would think about it, went home, sent an e-mail asking for the new offer in writing and they responded the offer is no longer on the table. ~ BureMakutte

If you work hard, you could make an incredible amount of money!

So.. what’s the base salary?

We have guys making $xx per month!

So.. what’s the base salary?

There’s no limit, so you can make as much as you want!

Mmm… no. ~ Spritzertog

Often if they promise quick promotions (you’ll be a senior manager in 6 months), you should leave. The reason for the quick promotions is that the job sucks and has a high turnover.

Edit: I get it, this doesn’t hold true 100% of the time, but just like the white, windowless vans offering free candy, the ones you can trust are the exception. ~ PM_MeTittiesOrKitty

Anything that requires you to buy a kit to get started, it’s a bunch of bullshit and you need to get up and walk out. You aren’t getting in on the ground floor of any hidden gems of opportunity, you’re about to fall into a goddamn high pressured sales funnel. ~ Captain_Aizen

“Are you willing to work off the clock?” ~ Azraels_Fear

“We work hard, and we play hard.”

Or any variation of that. I learned that lesson. To me it meant “you’re going to work a lot of 60+hr weeks with no OT or comp time, you might be working random nights and/or weekends, we might deny a vacation request that you put in nearly 6 months in advance, but once in awhile we’ll take all of you guys to the Mexican restaurant down the street and pay for lunch.” ~ flying_chrysler

They get defensive when you ask about overtime, vacation or benefits. ~ JakJakAttacks

When they hire everyone in the group interview. Even the idiots. Signifies a high turnover of employees and if you’re a casual, they’ll get rid of you once the busy season is over. ~ madrash22

When they ask you if you have any questions for them and you ask “what is your favorite thing about your job/working for this company?” And they reply “Well I’m not the one being interviewed…” proceeds to answer and then says “…was that good enough for you?” Immediately made me realize that even if I did get a job offer, I did not want to work for someone like that. ~ kallurr

When you see a lot of candidates in the waiting room and/or its a group interview in my experience. ~ CornFlake-

Just had this one today. “After your 30 day probation period you will get your first paycheck.” ~ z0da

When you have to pay money to begin, because you need a special license/ product or whatever. ~ PM_ME_FOR_SMALLTALK

I would say a place that promotes themselves as a family. They’ll end up attempting to use it against you in the future and let’s be honest, it is business not personal. ~ el_monstruo

You have a long-distance video interview, and three-quarters of the way through it, the company rep mentions there are six other people in the room listening in, but you can’t see or hear them. ~ coffeeinvenice

If the interviewer isn’t prepared and/or is late (10+ minutes).

I’ve gone to an interview where the two interviewers sat there asking each other “What questions are we asking? What position is this for?” right in front of me. If I spent the last 3 to 5 days preparing for this interview in my spare time (I’m a software dev so all my interviews are technical and I like to be over prepared) then I expect my interviewer to know what’s going on, be prepared and somewhat on time. I didn’t take time off work for you to dick me around. ~ Nambi007

When they’ve rented space in an office building specifically for your interview. ~ delibertine

Yep, that’s a pretty solid red flag right there.

Check out the rest of the job interview red flags over at Reddit.