Watch out for these interviewing red flags

Being interviewed for a new role is often a very stressful experience

As many of us will have experienced, the range of emotions can include excitement, exhilaration, self-doubt, confusion, insecurity and fear. With this in mind, the big red flags that show this job is not the right fit can sometimes be missed.

It is easy to get carried away and overlook glaring issues that could become major problems further down the line. You may see negative reviews or feedback online that you would rather not have read, as it ruins your rose-tinted glasses perception of this career move. Your nearest and dearest, who obviously know you best, may also question whether the move is right for you, but you don’t want to hear it.

The sensible thing to do is embrace all these indicators and really ensure that this is the right move for you at the right time.

The application process

Think about what you had to do to be invited to attend an interview in the first place; for example, was the application process smooth and did you receive professional and prompt communication from the company to acknowledge your application and contact? Was the company easy to research and transparent about its structure? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, this could flag up problems that need to be considered.

A long drawn out recruitment process

Picture this: you applied and did not hear anything for ages, so you thought you were unsuccessful and moved on. Out of nowhere, you were invited to attend an interview, with no apology for or acknowledgement of the delay and a seeming expectation that you should be grateful. This is not the best way to treat candidates and perhaps it is an indicator that this is also how the company treats its employees.

No flexibility

You may be asked to attend at short notice, leaving you with little chance to rearrange your schedule. If you can’t make the suggested time and the company refuses to change it, this can also be a sign that things may not be right. Organisations should realise that candidates are often keen not to highlight that they are interviewing elsewhere to their current boss, so making this difficult is not the best way to go about things.

Inattentive interviewing panels

Phones buzzing, in-jokes between the panel, people knocking on the door, waving at colleagues through the window – whatever it might be that the panel seems to feel is more important than listening to your answers can be a red flag that these are not the hiring managers you want to work for.

Overall, use your instincts. Be brave and challenge a company on its handling of the process. It may be that the company is under huge pressure or there is a genuine reason for any negatives in the process; however, if you are made to feel like a burden or uncomfortable during the application and interview process, question whether this is the right move for you.

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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