People Share Red Flags To Look Out For When Talking To Potential Employers
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

When hunting for a job, making it to the interview stage is an exiting moment. The tedium of resume beefing, cover letter writing, and phone interview minutiae has finally paid off.

But it's important to not allow that excitement to cloud one's judgment. Just because an employer may want you, that doesn't automatically mean you need to want them.

Some Redditors recently gathered to discuss the clearest signs that you should think twice about a prospective employer and keep searching.

Sardinesocks asked, "What are some red flags when talking to potential employers?"

Many people identified the signs--both subtle and glaringly obvious--that a workplace is not a socially or professionally comfortable place to be.

They advised ways to determine if a place would turn out be a toxic environment day in and day out.

Sensing a Pattern

"Everyone assures you the dozens of people, who had your position before you, were simply disgruntled or had political agendas to damage the organization."

"A bigger one is verbal statements become totally different, whenever it becomes a text or e mail, after you start."

-- ThePoetZiggy

Maybe It's the Team 

" 'We've had a hard time finding someone who fits in well with our current team' "

"Usually it's because there's something weird or toxic about the 'current team' and they can't find anyone willing to stay and put up with it."

-- AlreadyDejaVu

What Would Happen When You Leave the Room 

"When the interviewer makes insulting remarks about their current employees." -- WebsiteArchivalBot

"Or, uses the statement 'I know I probably shouldn't be saying this, but.....' " -- CircleBackMurray

"I would add the more subtle 'we like your enthusiasm, it's refreshing' "

"Turn out every employee is either overworked and/or depressed because it's understaffed."

"Yeah, my enthusiasm quickly faded." -- sunforrest

Flipping It Around 

"when I'm interviewing I always ask about turnover in the team and company. like 'how long have YOU been with the company' and 'how much turnover did this team have in the last year?' "

"if everyone you talk to has been with the company months, not years, and you find out that half the team quit in the last year, they've got a very serious turnover problem."

"even if it's for legitimate reasons, it's a good sign of a poorly functioning team."

-- McFeely_Smackup

Others discussed the very cute and enthusiastic ways that company's divulge just how structurally unsound they really are. Typically, this amounts to under-staffing or general personnel chaos.

Either way, you'd be best to turn the other way.

Way Too Easy 

"When they hire you on the spot they're understaffed and you're gonna be doing the work of at least two people." -- peachu_

"and it'll never be enough" -- frequentstreaker

"Also means they probably aren't getting qualified candidates. If you aren't in the industry, that can be a good signal. If you are, you've probably already gotten that signal." -- Fadnn6

That Fun Lingo 

"Any time they use 'rockstar,' 'ninja,' 'unicorn' or 'guru' to describe a position. Extra-neon-red flag if they can't easily describe or articulate the duties and responsibilities of the role." -- SDFDuck

"Looking for a self-starter rockstar. Must be flexible and comfortable with multi tasking and wearing different hats. We have competitive wages and a casual atmosphere. We work hard, we play hard!"

"Are you this unicorn? Come join our family!" -- the_electric_company

"Many Hats" Isn't Always Ideal 

"Be aware of the term 'Wear many hats.' It means they aren't sure what they want and your job duties will be largely ambiguous."

"This could lead to you getting all the work nobody else wants, or leave you with no clear direction for what to do."

"This can be good if you are truly a self-starter who looks for opportunities to improve things and acts on them, but if you need direction with your job duties it's probably best to steer clear."

-- Byizo

Finally, some people described the problems that accompany employers who are dodgy with their information about finances, be that of the company or the payment standards of the particular position in question.

Nope, It's a Job 

"When they don't offer salary/pay rate info, or are reluctant to give it. Or if they imply that you're there for something other than a paycheck."

"They're trying to guilt you into taking less pay than you're worth."

-- VVillyD

6 Months Becomes Forever 

"We can start you off at ____ because we are a small buisness but we can talk about a raise in 6 months. ( you will never have that convo)" -- qwertycvbnmasdfkhgfs

"See also: postings with a salary range from some low figure to as much as 100% more as the high. They're gonna waste too much your time before they tell you you'll have to start near the lower figure and not the one that was merely there to draw you in." -- The_Quibbler

Just Came Right Out With It 

"In an interview a potential employer once told me..."

" 'Well you certainly have the skills for the job and then some and we all really like you so far...the problem is, it's not that I don't want to pay you what you're worth, but I don't have the money to pay you what you're worth. Will that be a dealbreaker?' "

-- RayDeaver


Ideally, you're happy at your job and have no need to go through these kinds of interactions.

But in case you're on the hunt, or unemployed altogether, keep these tidbits top of mind.

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