Should you take that job? Watch out for these five red warning flags

A major red flag is uncovering anything the company was less than truthful about in the job advert

Before you leave your current role to take up an exciting-sounding opportunity at a new company, it’s important to watch out for any warning signals that may indicate it might not be the right job for you.

1. Impolite, sloppy or tardy company communications

Company communications are a good indicator of how an organisation works and how it treats its talent. If you need to speak to someone before or after the interview, are the phone calls friendly and professional, or cold and off-hand? If you send a query by email, are the responses accurate and sent in a timely fashion, or are they dashed-off and full of typos?

2. An unsatisfactory interview experience

An interview gives the company a chance to check you out. But it’s also a great chance for you to find out more about the company. Is the receptionist pleasant and professional? Are you kept waiting a long time past your scheduled appointment? Is your interviewer focused or distracted? Are you offered a drink? Use your brief time at the interview as an opportunity to see what working there every day and dealing with your new manager would be like.

3. Constant reference to other candidates

If your interviewer constantly underlines the fact there are other candidates in the running for the role, this should act as a red flag that they might not value what you are specifically bringing to the organisation. Do you really want to work for a company that doesn’t appreciate your full potential?

4. Misleading information

A major red flag is uncovering anything the company was less than truthful about in the job advert. Did the company lie about the job or not provide important details? Alternatively, are the managers cagey or oblique about any aspect of the role? Use the interview and follow-up communications to clarify anything that could be a deal-breaker for you. This could be flexible hours or homeworking, managerial structure, remuneration or opportunities for promotion. Before you jump ship from your existing organisation, it’s important to know that your new organisation is offering something better (or, at least, no worse).

5. Bad office vibes

Sometimes you can’t put your finger on the problem, but the vibe of the workplace just seems wrong. If you get the opportunity to meet your potential colleagues or pass through your future work space, take the time to get a sense of the general mood of the employees. Are they relaxed and efficient? Tense and rushing around? Larking about instead of working? Think about how you’d fit into the mix.

Moving into a new role can be exciting, but it can also be a real leap of faith. Do your homework on the company and pick up on anything that tells you whether this is really the best place for you to further develop your career.

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

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