Six red flags to watch out for at the interview

So you’ve done your homework, rehearsed your answers to likely interview questions, and dusted down your business suit. You are good to go! But, before you make a dash for the interview room, spare a thought for the concept of an interview. Is it really all about you convincing the interviewer that you’re the best person for the job? Doesn’t that feel a little, well, one-way?


Interviews are in fact a two-way process where the interviewer and the interviewee, sort of, well, check each other out. Hiring managers are there to impress you every bit as much as you’re there to impress them. If both parties are impressed – bingo! – there’s a match. But if there’s a mismatch in expectations regarding the role or corporate culture, for example, both parties should pause for thought. You don’t want to discover a few weeks in that the role has been mis-sold to you or that the company culture is toxic.


There are many red flags that job seekers should watch out for at interviews to protect themselves. SiliconRepublic highlights the following ones:


  1. Rudeness and bad vibes

En route to the interview room, make a point of noticing how staff interact. Do they treat each other respectfully and politely? Does the interviewer thank the office manager for bringing you both a coffee? Do the employees you pass look happy and purposeful, or stressed out and on the verge of burnout? If more than one person is interviewing you, do they listen respectfully to one another?


  1. Unreasonable demands

If your interviewer asks you to complete a time-consuming, real-life work project for free as part of the interview process, proceed with extreme caution. It’s exploitative and signals a lack of respect for your time that doesn’t bode well for your future work/life balance.


  1. Inappropriate comments and/or behaviour

If your interviewer makes personal comments about your appearance or invades your personal space, this is not a good place to work. Any hint of sexism, racism, homophobia, or ageism is a massive red flag so run for the hills and don’t look back. Ever.


  1. Disorganisation

If your interviewer repeatedly postpones your meeting without a good explanation or, worse, simply fails to show up, abandon your application. If they are totally unprepared for your interview, seriously reconsider your position. It’s disrespectful of your time and, if the disorganisation is widespread, a future role at the company could be fraught with frustration and stress.


  1. Vagueness

If your interviewer is strangely approximate about the exact nature of your role, beware. While it’s acceptable for job descriptions to evolve a little, you don’t want to accept a job in Marketing only to later find that you’re in reception or in Accounts!


  1. Personality clashes

You can’t expect to gel with everyone but, if you get a bad feeling about your potential new line manager at the interview stage, just put it down to experience and move on.


Joining a new company is a big commitment and you want to be sure you get it right. By looking out for the above red flags, you can protect yourself from pursuing opportunities destined to end badly.


For ultimate protection, work with an expert, trustworthy recruitment agency like ABL Recruitment. Thanks to our close working relationships with 400+ companies worldwide, we know which opportunities are right for you…and which ones aren’t. We only suggest great-fit opportunities and we share the inside track on all aspects of the role and company so you can make a fully informed decision about your application.


For more expert advice on job interviews and the wider recruitment process, please get in touch. ABL Recruitment – the nation’s number one recruitment agency – is here to help. Please get in touch at or on 020 7092 3911 to brainstorm the options today!