People Break Down Red Flags To Look Out For While Job Hunting


There can be a desperation when you're applying for a job. It may not reveal itself intentionally, but unless you control the "Need" leaking out all over your face the interviewer holds all the cards. Going for a job should be a mutual exchange, each party getting what they need. Them? A dutiful employee. You? A great job with great perks.

Unless, of course, any of these red flags happen to spring up when you're mid-interview.

Reddit user, u/CurrentlyCurious, wanted to know what to look for when they asked:

What's a red flag when looking for a job?

Expecting A Lot For A Little


"Master's Degree Preferred" for an entry level job.


Starting salary: 30k-40k


That's generous compared to the listings I've seen. Normally they go like this "R&D chemical engineer needed. Must have at least 5 years experience in developing industrial production processes. Master's degree required. Part-time (39 hours a week) pay 10.50 an hour. Must be hired through a temp agency so we don't have to commit to you."


Never Allowed To Ask Questions

Interviewed for my dream job.

A really long interview that lasted all day. Towards the end, I said I had a couple of questions. They arrogantly responded with "you get to ask questions if you are offered the job". I did get offered the job eventually but turns out that it wasn't my dream job. There were too many red flags. During salary negotiations they went back on what was verbally negotiated. Cannot take a job where there is no trust.


When No One Knows Anything

When it is a specialized position that you have extensive training for and they interview you like you're about to be working a desk job. They don't know what they want, they don't know what you have, they don't know what to pay you.


I was once interviewed by an advertising agency owner on whatsapp through messages (Crazy!) and when I asked him about his company's work environment, number of working days and work culture, he wrote this:

We are looking for passionate and dedicated thinkers who can work with us relentlessly and can value add to the company and to themselves in the process. Also we work 6 days a week and it is a demanding but very exciting profile.It is basically a fastrack organization that is buzzing with action and people who work here either grow (in their CTCs) or Go(are asked to quit if they cannot match upto the effort)


Say It With Me: "But It's Great Exposure!"

As a creative - anytime ANY JOB wants me to do a 'project' without pay/compensation to test my skills. Doing an in office test/design test is cool with me since its part of the interview process. But asking a designer (who you already require to have a portfolio for them to review) to make a design from a fake project and submit it 1-2 days later....nope!


Pay Attention To The Vocabulary

When a company says they want someone with an "entrepreneurial spirit". This usually means they want a low level employee who is dedicated because they're going to work them to death. I once had a company tell me to not be afraid to "die on the treadmill". Mmk.


You Can Learn A Lot From Red Flags

When the interview is less than 20 minutes despite you asking over 5 questions, the man interviewing you asked sexist questions, when you tell the recruiter you can't officially say yes to their offer the day following the interview and the recruiter says that is "unacceptable".

My first job out of college had basically every red sign I could think of but I felt desperate enough to take the job because I had no other offers at the time. I sure learned a lot about what I don't like!


Not Listening To Your Needs

Not listening to your availability. I once took on a hostess job over the summer, and in both the interview and in an email to my superior, I explained that I could not work weekends due to family reasons.

She said that we could work out the 'fine details' during my first shift, which was a Friday evening. After my shift, I checked the schedule and lo and behold, I was scheduled that Saturday morning and Sunday evening.

When I repeated to my supervisor that I could not work those days, she said "Why didn't you tell me, we specifically hired you to work weekend shifts. If you can't come in, you're fired." I never got my check for that first shift either.


How Much Time Does It Take?

5 minute interview before job offer. They don't actually care if you're a fit. They just hate the interviewing process and expect you to be exactly what is convenient for them


Trouble Down By The Farm


This one is a personal one for me, but not introducing themselves and not directly answering questions.

I work in the cattle business and about a year ago I was job hunting. One of my tactics was to post on job-related Facebook pages. In this post I asked potential employers to either PM me or call my cell number. One day I get a call from an area code In Las Vegas NV.


"I hear your looking for a job young man" the man on the other end of the line replied. Not "Hello I'm So-and-so, I saw your ad." Just straight to the point. Weird, I thought to myself, but okay. "Yes Sir I am."

What followed next was the most defeating conversation I've had so far in my life. The man on the other end of the phone mocked my lack of experience in the field (I spent six years of my life in school getting a degree in animal science, and I DID NOT grow up on a ranch; we all have to start somewhere). He laughed when I told him what I was looking for in terms of pay (his idea of a fair wage for an inexperienced ranch hand was $500 plus room and board). Fuming, I carried on with questions about the ranch. He never gave me a straight answer to any of them. Really, really, really weird.

"To whom am I speaking to?" I finally blurted into the phone, because even though I didn't want to talk to him anymore I still wanted to know who he was and what outfit he was working on.

"I'm So-and-So from the _____ Ranch". I'd heard of both the man and the place through the grapevine. All of it was bad stuff… and he was NOT located in the Las Vegas area.

"Oh. Well, I think I'll pass then" I replied.

I'm sorry I wasted five minutes of my life on this interview, but it taught me a valuable lesson. If a perspective employer doesn't bother to answer your questions or even give you basic information like their name, don't take the job!


How Long Do People Stay?

High staff turnover


There's a place near me that's always hiring high-level tech folks. And I mean always. Just makes me think: meat-grinder.


Read Between The Lines

"We work hard and play hard", it actually means all work and for sure no play.


Translation: You will work 60+ hours a week, and are expected to come to the company happy hour whether you drink or not.


Also "we all stay here too much then go get hammered because we hate our spouses and children and will do anything to avoid going home."


Don't Give Me A "Maybe." Give Me A "Definitely."

Earning potential is stressed over current salary.


"In 5 years you can be making X"

Cool, add that to my offer as guaranteed and we have a deal.

"Well it's not guaranteed"

Oh gotcha, so what you're saying is that statement holds no value.


Work Until You're Dead...Er, Done.

Making jokes about overtime and "crunch time". Guaranteed it's going to be a nights and weekends are optional (but not actually optional) place.


When I was a GM for Chipotle I would constantly work 12+ hour days(salary). And one busy weekend I worked 15 hours on Friday and 15 on Saturday and on Sunday I decided to go to the gas station and eat my donuts in my car and just listen to the radio for like 10 extra minutes to just kind of unwind. You better believe the area manager was there the next day with a write up in hand because I was 10 minutes late on Sunday but when I asked what about the other 10 extra hours I put into my store the previous days. "Thats just part of the job description"


"It's Not Really A Job, Per Say..."

Initially unpaid, but will result in full time offer upon completion of XYZ


This will be an excellent chance to expand your portfolio and gain lots of exposure with leading global brands!


Graphic designer here. My favorite response to this:

"You can die from exposure."


The Way They Talk About The Staff Is Critical

When they sh-t talk previous employees. They're going to do it to you.


Same goes for them insulting current employees behind their back. I saw that during my orientation. Two supervisors were loudly talking about how useless an employee was after they got off the phone with him. Even if it's true, the fact that they don't care who hears them is a sign of a toxic work environment


Why Did The Last Person Leave?

Always ask them why the person you are replacing left the job.

The way they answer this could be a red flag.


I always ask how is performance measured and whats the next step/when will I hear back. (And any other question that may have come up during the interview.) But I like this question, I'm going to add it to my interview question list. Depending on the truthfulness of the answer, this could have saved me from a job a few years back.


Hiding The Worst In All The Ruffage

If the job description has about 20 items of which one is "sales" your job is going to be sales.


If the job description has multiple items, then the majority of your duty is going to be the worst one of those items.


Probably All Heard This One Before


"We are a family here" which means this is how they try to make up for the sh-tty pay and long hours.

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