Looking for a job requires a big investment of time and energy, and, in some cases, money. It can also be a long, drawn-out process during which you might experience a range of emotions including excitement, disappointment, frustration, self-doubt, and rejection.
So, it’s no wonder that when an offer is finally made, many job seekers—in their eagerness to start the new job—overlook clear signals that the job may not be all that it is cracked up to be.
Here are 10 signs that should give you pause:
1. The interviewer has not prepared for the interview. If the interviewer has not taken the time to review your resume or familiarize themselves with your background, it could be a sign that the company doesn’t invest much time in interviewing and selecting people.
2. Everyone seems new to the company. Unless it is a start-up company, this is likely a sign of high turnover, no doubt caused by poor management, a toxic culture, or low pay.
3. The people are unfriendly, and the office is disorganized. What you see and observe can tell you a lot about the company and its people. If the office is unkept and the people are not friendly, it usually is an indicator that the people are unhappy and take little (or no) pride in their work.
4. The interviewer is late for the interview. Being a few minutes late is understandable but being considerably late—without a good reason— shows a lack of respect for you and your time. It could be a sign you are not a priority for them.
5. The interviewer asks inappropriate questions such as questions about marital status, medical history, number of children, and disabilities. If interviewers aren’t aware of basic employment law, it could be an indicator that they have complete disregard for rules and laws.
6. The interviewer speaks badly of other staff members. Complaining about or criticizing others is a sign of a disrespectful workplace. You would be best to avoid this situation.
7. The company declines your request to meet with your prospective co-workers. Speaking to co-workers, before you accept, will give you valuable insight into what it’s like to work there. If they decline, it may be a sign they are trying to hide something.
8. The job offers no possibility for future career development. If the interviewer is not asking about your future goals or telling you how you might grow and develop in the role, it usually means it is a dead-end job.
9. You are offered the job after one interview only. If an interviewer makes up their mind to hire quickly, they will also make up their mind to fire quickly. There’s a good chance you won’t last long at that company.
10. The employer offers you a salary that is less than the stated range for the role. Although they may rationalize the low salary by suggesting you are still “learning” the role, it usually is a signal that you will never make much money there.
One last thing. You should learn to trust your gut. Although you should never make an important decision—such as taking a job—based on gut feeling alone, it does play an important role when combined with other evidence. When offered a job, sit back and do some soul searching and ask if you fit in that organization. In the end, you need to trust your own judgment.