People Describe Subtle Red Flags In A Job Interview That Scream 'Working Here Sucks'
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Too many times I've sat in a job interview and knew in my gut I should be running for the door.

I'm not alone in this experience.

I didn't take all of those jobs, but I took more than I should've.

I never give my gut and the red flags enough credit.

That's why I work from home now with two dogs.

And even that isn't drama-free.

Redditor pbourree wanted to hear about the times they had an eerie feeling about the place they were thinking about working at.

So they asked:

"What are subtle red flags at a job interview that say 'working here would suck?'"

I once went on an interview that turned into a therapy/meditation session.


Bored Season 3 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

"They told me all about their generous severance packages. In the initial interview. Turnover city."


sparks in their eyes...

"I always ask about training and learning curves. Every job I’ve had that went wrong- I notice that when that question came up they stumbled. The current job I have, when I asked the question they had sparks in their eyes as they explained the whole process from day 1 of shadowing to the transition to working solo. And even when Covid hit they managed to continue without skipping a beat."


"leaving early"

"'Well, the overtime isn't mandatory, but most folks stick around after hours most days.'"

"Spoilers: The overtime is mandatory."


"The most terrifying thing is that in any places, the managers won't even need to encourage/threaten you to work overtime. Your coworkers will shame you for 'leaving early' if you leave right when your working time is over."


"'Overtime isn't mandatory. By the way, remember your performance review is coming up.'"



"Was interviewed by a Senior programmer and the department head. The department head was continuously making condescending remarks towards the other interviewer. Poor guy just sounded broken. Hope he's somewhere else now."


"Years ago I was told by a manager that he needed some help with a technical interview. This manager was not especially skilled, so I ended up conducting the interview. When it was the time for goodbye the candidate offered me his business card and the manager commented in front of him with 'funny how he's given his business card to you, when you are basically irrelevant.' I could see the guy cringing so hard at that point and he was obviously right."



Yes Man Nod GIF by DEEPSYSTEMGiphy

"Besides always hiring, they seem almost overly eager to say, 'Yes, we could do that!' to everything you ask. No job will have literally everything you want, and if your gut is telling you they seem to be promising a bit more than they can offer, they likely are."


All I can say is "Been there/done that!" I've been on all of these interviews.



"My favorite is 'there's a lot of people waiting in line to work here, count yourself lucky. Huge red flag."


The Final Capper

"I had an interview once, the owner of the company told me he was going to hire me, let the man in the office train me, then fire that man once I was up to speed. He also told me that sometimes employees have to hold their paycheck. And the final capper, (not that I needed it, I had already decided not to work for him) was he told me I looked like his nephew. I am female."


For Free

"Once an interviewer straight up asked me if I had any trouble working for free on weekends... I told them my free time is more valuable than anything and that the only way that I would work a weekend is if they are paying me and if I felt like working a weekend. She got really mad at me and ended the interview right away. Biggest red flag I’ve ever seen because they didn’t even try to hide it."


What we Expect!

"We cater lunch and dinner for our whole team! Sounds like a positive, but what it means is, 'We expect you to be working past dinnertime hours, and there will be a lot of social pressure to never leave, and to socialize with the team well past working hours. We don't understand that anyone might want a life outside of work.'"

Less of a problem now, hopefully, but in the tech bro heyday, this was super common."


Drama Free

Braxton Family Values Drama GIF by WE tvGiphy

"At my current job, after my interview the manager said ‘just don’t get involved in the staff drama and you’ll be fine.' It has not been fine."


Go with your gut. You always know at hello.

We all need a paycheck but we don't need that much drama to go with it.

Do you have similar red flags to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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