These Are The Biggest 'Red Flags' To Watch Out For When Interviewing For A Job

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. The quest to present your best self to your potential new employer can be a challenge to say the least. 

One great tip for any interviewee is to know what red flags to watch out for. Red flags are subtle signs that you should attempt to cue-in on. Things like the atmosphere of the interview process can really give you some good insight as to the day-to-day culture of the company you could potentially be joining. 

Here, Reddit users share the subtle red flags during an interview that can say working here would suck.

Then, later on when I asked about what happened to the predecessor "He left. Unfortunately, he took on a little too much, became unhappy and left. He's taking some time off before he decides whether he wants to stay in IT or not."

So you overworked a guy to the point where he decided he needed a new career?


It was basically a flowchart with names... And start dates for their employment. Only one name had been there longer than a year.


Especially at a startup. Looking for someone who works late for no pay and does the work of 5 people, while having no outside life.


"Fast-paced environment" = We will overwork you.

"Must be able to multitask" = We fired three people and want you to do all their jobs.


They made me wait for 15+ minutes to start after the scheduled interview time.

If they don't respect you and your time before you start, they definitely won't respect you when you're working there.

Now that I've been on the other side and interview people, I would never even think of doing that, no matter how busy I am. I also personally call every employee I don't hire, explain why they weren't the perfect fit, and try to give them some positive encouragement going forward.

BOTTOM LINE: Just because you are the one looking for a job, doesn't mean that the potential employer shouldn't be courteous and treat you just as well as they treat a client/customer.


Sure that's cool. It was for Valentine's Day lunch, surely she will be shadowing and getting drinks and what not. Nope. They put her out there solo for a 5 hour shift THEN ASKED HER TO COME BACK THAT NIGHT TO WORK A DOUBLE. 

She never got paid for it and never returned.


If they say it has a high turnover rate because of high stress, or a "fast paced environment", that's a red flag. 

BUT the context for mentioning it is very important, as is the type of job. E.g. a high turnover rate at a legal office would be a lot more worrying than a high turnover rate at a McDonalds.

mysterious_baker & V_slot

Why'd you bother asking in the first place?!?!?


And they slip into your pocket a hastily scrawled note that says "you leave, is no good for you here".


I once interviewed for a job and was offered the position on the spot. I told the guy I would need two weeks' notice for my previous job. He asked what my current schedule was, and I told him M-F. So he asked if I could swing by Saturday at 10AM since I had the day off, to "get me logged into the company computer system." 

I thought it was weird, but I lived close by and didn't really mind. I got there and he asked why I wasn't in dress code. I told him I had no idea he intended me to work right away, so I wore jeans. He said "That's okay... you can go home and change on your lunch break." 

That job did not last long.


If they can't tell you what your day-to-day is like, you probably won't like it.


The values of an 18 year-old. Applying for a job as a cashier at a sporting goods store. Uhhh, what?

I jotted some stuff down and he then proceeded to tell me why all my values were WRONG.

"Family is great, but God is greater. God should be top of your list."

"School is only good if you get to work in your field."

"Work ethic? I'm just going to assume you don't know what that is."

"You definitely don't know what love is, so don't list your girlfriend anywhere in your values."

He then told me that I'd be less than minimum wage as a Trainee for as long as he saw fit to call me that and how that was completely and totally legit.

Promptly noped right outta there.


They said they were hiring for several positions as they were a new branch in a new market. Ok fine.

Red flag 2: when we walked in the office, the receptionist was on the phone. I heard her say "well no, the training isn't paid. It's only 5 days spread out across 2 weeks..."

Unpaid training means they don't want to invest in you until you've proven to be valuable. The only way they can afford this is to hire groups of desperate people and train them with no pay. The ones that stick around keep the shitty job.

Red flag 3: compensation was briefly mentioned as a commission rate on different products we would be selling.

Letting someone leave an interview without a realistic understanding of compensation means that you know that's a deal killer more often than not.


I get skeptical of places where everyone constantly praises the boss/CEO/founder and constantly mentions how ultimately they make the decisions or things like that. That just sounds like a place run by an iron fist.


I once told an interviewer that I'm interested in being a professor and he responded with "You? A professor? Ha!".

I did not take the job.


I once drove an hour each way just to learn that my future boss took the day off. Not a sick day. She had booked a vacation months ago and didn't bother clearing her schedule (or checking it when scheduling my interview).

That job ended up being very short-lived and traumatic. She was fired like a month after I quit.


That just means they are under staffed and you will be putting a lot many hours you are not getting paid for.


Meaning that people quit every other week, meaning the job and management probably suck.


Huge red flag, didn't take the job.


Right during the last one, this dude, goes through all my paperwork and is like "you got the job, we're gonna start you off in sales." And I was like "I didn't apply for sales, I've interviewed the last three weeks for the Guitar Tech position." An he just said, "I know." And had this stupid smile on his dumb face. And that's when I realized, they probably don't care for their employees there.


I had an interview years ago, where they had a good cop, bad cop routine going. The good cop asked me about my hobbies, and seemed interested. The bad cop, scuffed and rolled his eyes.


I once went to a four hour job interview that was 4 different 50-60 minutes sessions each with a different group of people. Every single group asked me the same damn questions, while repeatedly warning me how busy the department was all year round.

It raised a red flag. If you're so busy all the time, then why don't you get more efficient and interview me all at once!!!


If they don't care about your butt, they don't care about your butt.

I've worked several places when I was younger and all the bad places fit this rule.


I didn't ask it once and I found that it was expected to work through your lunch every day (even for an hourly position). I asked at my last interview and it actually opened up a great conversation about the day to day operations of the department.

It can be a risky question, but useful if asked correctly.


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