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1. I always ask about training and learning curves. Every job I’ve had that went wrong- I notice that when that question came up they stumbled. In the current job I have, when I asked the question they had sparked in their eyes as they explained the whole process from day 1 of shadowing to the transition to working solo. And even when Covid hit they managed to continue without skipping a beat.
2. They told me all about their generous severance packages. In the initial interview. Turnover city.
3. "Well, the overtime isn't mandatory, but most folks stick around after hours most days."
Spoilers: The overtime is mandatory.
4. Was interviewed by a Senior programmer and the department head. The department head was continuously making condescending remarks towards the other interviewer. Poor guy just sounded broken. Hope he's somewhere else now.
5. On a second interview, the general manager brought me into the conference room with his 8 managers present. At first, I thought it was a meet and greet but no, they grilled me for an hour and a half. Didn’t appreciate that along with a couple of other things and politely withdrew from being considered.
Couple of months later I’m playing in a ball tournament and come across one of the managers. I mentioned how weird that interview was. He says ‘Weird for you? Ha! I found out then and there you were being interviewed for my job!’.
Yep, dodged a bullet there.
6. Besides always hiring, they seem almost overly eager to say, "Yes, we could do that!" to everything you ask.
No job will have literally everything you want, and if your gut is telling you they seem to be promising a bit more than they can offer, they likely are.
7. Once an interviewer straight up asked me if I had any trouble working for free on weekends... I told them my free time is more valuable than anything and that the only way that I would work a weekend is if they are paying me and if I felt like working a weekend. She got really mad at me and ended the interview right away.
Biggest red flag I’ve ever seen because they didn’t even try to hide it.
8. My favorite is 'there's a lot of people waiting in line to work here, count yourself lucky.” Huge red flag
9. I was once part of a group onboarding for an IT job. They handed us all the one-page new hire "contract" and everyone except me signed it immediately. When I read the paperwork, I discovered we were signing a mystery document. Clauses included "I agree to abide by the personal search and seizure security policy (attached)." Without other pages, there was no way to determine what I was agreeing to. I kept requesting more and more pages until the HR drone said "ok, I guess [me] is just determined to hold everyone up. We will handle you separately if you're struggling so much."
After I walked out and drove home, I called the hiring manager to apologize for not taking the job. He informed me that HR reported I had walked out after refusing to be drug tested
10. Last job I worked.
"Yea, everyone here is new, but it's totally because of covid"
"The boss doesn't like people going out to get lunch because they're afraid you'll never come back, so bring your own lunch"
"You'll get weird looks if you leave on time". It was a Chinese-owned company with heavy Chinese work culture influence so you were expected to stay overtime all week.
Also "the people here are nice but it's pretty stressful".
Also was told by my trainer "you want to know the best advice I can give you? Find another job". This was like...my second week in.
11. When they ask out of nowhere what clients can you bring with you.
12. This actually happened to me:
Interviewer: Do you have any questions for us?
Me: what is a challenge this department has recently faced?
Interviewer: Job security
13. When you are signing all the forms they give you and you are taking your time to read over every document so that you can fully understand what you are getting into and people come in and start telling you that you don't need to read this and that just sign here and so on.
14. I didn't know it at the time, but "you'll be wearing many hats" was a sign that they were going to give me the work of four positions and the wage of one. I didn't last a year there before I left and now I won't even finish reading job ads that include that line.
15. My current boss gave me a great tip on the last interview I had. He said, "Ask them if you can pick an employee to chat with about how they like the position you're applying for. They'll give a better impression of the place than management".
I got the job I was interviewing for. I turned it down because the above is the kind of management I want to keep in my life.
Also, the place undercut the pay offer I made, which is certainly also a red flag.
16. "You are required to wear clothing that has the company logo. You must purchase it yourself. From the company."
17. I once showed up for an interview and the manager wasn't there that day. No one called me to let me know.
The assistant manager was not apologetic for the scheduling issue at all. She was literally just like "oh, she's not here today" in a tone that suggested I should somehow already know that. She said they would call me to reschedule some time the next week. I told her I was currently unavailable M-W but could come in any time Th-F. She said if I couldn't make time for the interview, I probably wouldn't be a good fit. I said okay, and went on to my other interviews and ending up working elsewhere.
You'd think that would be the end of it, but both the manager and the assistant manager badmouthed me to a few other people in the industry, including one of my friends.
Hello? I made time for an interview. You disrespected me by not calling me to let me know it was canceled. I gave you the times I was available to reschedule, and that was disrespectful somehow?
18. Jobs where the expectations of the position aren't clear. The person hiring you should be able to give a clear idea of your responsibilities are day to day in a practical way. It shows that the company understands what it wants out of the position.
I've worked a couple positions that had a really hard time figuring out who was supposed to do what that lead to a lot of confusion and both of them had this in the interviews. If the company you're working for can't define what success in that position looks like you won't be able to either.
19. When you ask, “what do you like about working here” and the interviewer talks about the location of the job (“it’s a great place to live!”) instead of the actual job.
20. "We only want the best of the best"
Me: "how much are you paying?"
21. At my last place of work, the person interviewing me had a printed cartoon on their wall of someone who looked like a bomb had blown up in their face, with the caption "I spoke with 'boss' name' about it.. I guess we're still doing it".
That wasn't subtle at all, but I ignored it. The boss was an absolute tyrant who wouldn't listen to her staff, consider changing her mind about anything, or let people do the work they were best suited to do. She wouldn't show up for weeks at a time. The job itself was decent, but she was the worst boss I've ever had.
22. I brought up a company’s awful Glassdoor reviews and they got so mad they ended the interview. Well. Guess I dodged that bullet
23. If they seem too relieved that someone actually showed up for the interview.
24. Employees are either new hires or have been there for 15+ years with no in-between. There is no room for improvement - it's better to leave for advancement
25. When they feel the need to reassure you in the interview that at that company, they “work hard, but also play hard.”
They don’t play hard - it’s a sweatshop and they’re just trying to convince that’s it’s anything but one.
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