Recruitment pro revals EIGHT red flags to look for in job interviews

I’m a recruitment expert and here are eight interview red flags that suggest you may NOT want a job at that firm

  • Read the list of interview red flags below, from interview coach Richard McMunn

The pressure of a job interview might seem like a one-way relationship where you try to jump through hoop after hoop to impress your potential employer, but you want to make sure they are good employers themselves. 

With that in mind, job hunters have been alerted to look out for eight warning signs that an employer is perhaps one to steer clear of.

There are a number of laws which recruiters should abide by, and you should also expect them to follow some basic courtesies if they are a respectable employer.

‘Interview expert’ Richard McMunn revealed the list to his 4.3 million TikTok followers.

Mr McMunn has coached people for job interviews for over a decade across his YouTube channel – CareerVidz – and website.

‘Interview expert’ Richard McMunn has revealed eight warning signs to look out for in job interviews and applications

Mr McMunn’s first red flag to look out for was illegal and inappropriate questions, but these are not as obvious as you might expect

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Inappropriate or illegal questions

Mr McMunn’s first red flag was illegal or inappropriate questions, which might not be as obvious as you think.

He began: ‘If the interviewer asks you any questions that have no relevance to your ability to perform the role to the required standards, you should be very cautious.’

The interview coach mentioned that these would include any about your sexual orientation, marital status, who you live with, family plans and your age.

Other illegal questions for UK employers to ask include asking about your country of birth, if English is your first language, how much you were off sick in your last year of employment and any previous criminal convictions – unless they are genuinely relevant to the job.

Similar laws exist in both the US and Australia. 

High turnover of staff

The second red flag given by Mr McMunn was a high turnover of staff.

While this may be the very reason that a place has become available for you, it could also be an indication of a toxic work culture.

You might want to ask your interviewer why there is such a high turnover of staff during your interview – it could be that the job provides employees a good springboard for future roles, or that they are forced to work long hours for little pay. 

READ MORE: How you should really answer the most common job interview question: ‘Tell me about yourself’

Vague job description

Possibly a more obvious warning sign would be a vague job description.

This suggests that the employer is not focused on what they actually want from you, and could make your future at the company, should you get the position, uncertain the moment you step through the door.

Worse still, if you see these when applying for a job, it could indicate that the listing is a scam. 

Negative reviews

The fourth, and probably most obvious of all the red flags, is negative reviews.

Websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed provide job seekers with an opportunity to read testimonies from previous employers, with reviews including scores and descriptions of the job.

However, Mr McMunn added in a comment: ‘Do remember though that an employee with something negative to say is more likely to leave a review than an employee who is happy in the company.’

The interviewer is late

If you are late to an interview, the interviewer will likely think that you are not serious about the job, their business and their time – so why should it be any different in the opposite direction?

If your interviewer is late for no good reason while you are just an interviewee, this is a sign that they probably will not care for you as an employee either. 

The interviewer is uninterested

Similarly, if an interviewer is not engaged while you answer their questions, or ask them some of your own, this should be another red flag according to Mr McMunn.

If an interviewer is not engaged while you answer their questions, or ask them some of your own, this should be another red flag according tothe expert

They answer your questions badly

In particular, Mr McMunn flagged vague answers as ones to be wary of. 

Some of his suggestions for targeted questions that a good employer should be able to answer.

‘What are the plans for the business over the next few years,’ he suggested, ‘and how could I help you to achieve them?

‘Or, what advice would you give to the successful candidate who wants to excel in this role?’

He commented: ‘If the interviewer doesn’t want to answer these simple questions, or their answers are vague, it might tell you that they are not interested in your ambitions or your professional needs.’ 

Lack of transparency

Mr McMunn said that a lack of transparency ‘might indicate that there is potentially a toxic work environment.’ 

This lack of transparency could be surrounding the role, the salary and the working conditions.

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