From Red Flags to Green Lights: Decoding Job Interviews for a Bright Future

The job market is difficult enough to navigate on its own, but interviewing presents its own challenges that you’ll need to know how to manage if you’re looking to land the right job.

What are some promising signs that you should work with an organization, and what are some signs that you should turn back before it’s too late?

Here are a few red flags and green lights to decode interviews and help you achieve a brighter future.

#1. Interviews That Are Far Too Easy

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Interviews that are too easy and take you from interviewee to new hire almost immediately indicate that they’re trying to fill a position rapidly with little thought or care into the process.

If you’re hired on the spot, seriously reconsider the job.

#2. Interviewers Beginning the Interview By Telling You to Lower Your Expectations

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As an interviewee, you come in with the hopes that you’ll be able to land the job and get the pay and benefits you deserve.

If an interviewer tries to immediately lower any of those expectations, take it as a sign that they’re not serious about you as an employee.

#3. Role Ambiguity

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Companies hiring for a role should know exactly what role they’re looking to fill and what responsibilities they will require of you in that role.

If they don’t, it’s a good indication of either poor management and organization, issues with communication between departments, or the intent to make you tackle the work of multiple roles with the proper compensation.

#4. No One Actually Read Your Resume

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There’s nothing more insulting than taking the time to prepare for an interview only for the interviewer to be completely unprepared.

The bare minimum is that an interviewer should have reviewed your resume before your interview started.

#5. Massive Focus on Workplace Culture Instead of Benefits

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Some phrases are immediate red flags to most people, including “positive company culture,” “we’re like a family,” and so on.

While these are alright on their own, using this language while avoiding the topic of decent pay or benefits could show that they’re trying to go below your budget and make it look like these perks make up for it.

#6. They Don’t Respect Your Time

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Your time is important.

If a company wastes your time by showing up late to an interview, pushing it forward without letting you know and then blaming you for it, or even scheduling it and dropping you at the last minute, find something better.

#7. They Show Interest and Respect

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Your interviewer should show interest in you as a professional and respect you throughout the entire interview process.

This is a major green light you may not often encounter in modern interviews.

#8. They Stick to Your Salary Expectations

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If you were asked how much you expect to be paid if you received the job or were given a specific salary range, your prospective employer should stick to those expectations to not waste your time.

An employer that does respect this is a good one.

#9. They Know What They Want, and They Know Who You Are

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As discussed above, bad interviewers have no idea who they’re looking for or take the time to learn about you.

A green light is an employer that has a solid understanding of the role they need to fill and has taken the time to research you as a candidate (all while learning more in the interview that they couldn’t find on your resume or online).

#10. They’re Willing to Pay for Training and Testing

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Depending on the industry you work in, you might come across some employers looking for free work by asking for trial runs or tests.

Employers that take care to provide paid training and testing are diamonds in the rough that you should seriously consider if you come across them.

#11. They’re Asking Intelligent Questions and Opening Up the Floor for Yours

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An interview shouldn’t be difficult, but too many organizations make it more complicated than it needs to be.

In a good interview, the interviewer takes the time to pick or formulate the right questions for you and allows you to ask your own to create a rapport and get a feel for whether or not you’re a good fit.

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