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We've had dating red flags, how about JOB red flags?

(178 Posts)
uniglowooljumper Wed 05-Aug-20 23:32:48

The two worst jobs I ever had, I should never have taken up after the interview.

In both interviews, it was very clear that the supervisors/bosses did not want the person whose job I was interviewing for to go. In both second interviews, the person who held the position was there and in both cases the person was promoted.

There was lots of talk about how the boss/team hated to see 'Susan' or 'Wendy' go, how super Susan and Wendy were, staff would say things like 'You have big shoes to fill' and there was constant comparisons to Susan and Wendy.

I ended up quitting both after a month or two.

Now, any interview like this is the dating equivalent of talking about exes or saying your ex was psycho. I don't go any further.

Do you have any job red flags that make you nope out immediately?

OP’s posts: |
LuluLala2 Thu 06-Aug-20 14:49:40

Definitely what you said in the op, additionally:

- job descriptions with any variation on 'any other duties as and when asked by boss'. Totally unfair and should be illegal.
- high staff turnover

LuluLala2 Thu 06-Aug-20 14:50:16

Bad glass door reviews.

PlausibleSuit Thu 06-Aug-20 14:58:11

Big one for me: when the interviewer is late -- really late -- to the interview.

I went for an interview once where my prospective boss was almost 45 minutes late for our arranged meeting time. No apology when she finally turned up either. Just a lot of 'it's mad 'ere' mugging. (This was an interview for a relatively senior role, a department head.)

For me, being that late to an interview speaks to a significant lack of consideration and respect of other people's time and effort. Which, oddly enough, was something deeply ingrained within that company culture, as I discovered when I worked there.

I should have left after 10 or 15 minutes or being kept waiting. And I certainly shouldn't have accepted the job.

tectonicplates Thu 06-Aug-20 15:01:27

When the interviewer won't give you a straight answer about how long the previous person worked there for, or why they left.

Youcunnyfunt Thu 06-Aug-20 15:02:15

Asking too many personal questions.

Whether I am married or not has no bearing on my capability. That particular interview was entirely illegal, with the woman asking how long we’d been together and what my plans were regarding spawning children. Nice.

tectonicplates Thu 06-Aug-20 15:02:54

Or any small company where they say they want you to be "pro-active" and "sort the office out" without giving any concrete examples of what exactly they want you to do.

Youcunnyfunt Thu 06-Aug-20 15:03:13

Also, not discussing a salary or even a ballpark figure. Asking how much I was paid in my last role (it doesn’t matter, what do you want to pay me to do the job you’re offering?)

AlternativePerspective Thu 06-Aug-20 15:06:51

Asking questions which have no bearing on the job description.

Trying to put the candidate off e.g. “you know there’s a lot of travel with this job, are you sure you’re ok with that?”

Youcunnyfunt Thu 06-Aug-20 15:07:31


Or any small company where they say they want you to be "pro-active" and "sort the office out" without giving any concrete examples of what exactly they want you to do.

I don’t think that’s necessarily a red flag, they just don’t want staff idle. Use your own initiative.
Something a lot of small companies require. Clockwatchers need not apply!

Fatted Thu 06-Aug-20 15:09:22

In my current job, I should have turned and ran when I went to meet the team before I started. There was an obvious atmosphere between the supervisor and one of my colleagues. The supervisor was also meant to be talking to me about the role, showing me the ropes etc and just sat ignoring me. I just put it down to her being busy. But in reality, she was a head case and blue hot and cold with all of the staff.

I also should have paid more attention when they spoke about the fact that lots of people had worked there in the past few years and none seemed to stay for very long. Now I know why! Another two members of staff joined with me and they're have moved on already! Not even two years later.

Highlandshortbread Thu 06-Aug-20 15:10:06

Oooh I’ve had a few!! Last year in fact.

1) interviewer walks in shouting “I’m in a shit mood”. Really put me off straight away (marketing agency).

2) interviewer refuses to give me a glass of water. Really hot day and interview was in a glass room with the sun beaming in. I accepted the job and she was evil on my first day there. (Homewares supplier)

3) man interviewing me asked if my husband approved of me working. (Engineering firm)

4) man interviewing me was so rude he stared out the window while I was talking and in the end I stopped talking. He didn’t even notice. He clearly didn’t want to be there. He hired someone he already knew for the role. (Accountancy and marketing firm ((weird mix)) could be outing)

5) woman arrives late. Gets bossy. Takes over the interview from the other woman. Is abrupt. I accepted the job offer but she was so rude I ended up quitting shortly after. She refused to give me the business WI-FI so I had to use my own data! She also refused to give me a decent laptop suitable for the role. She didn’t trust her other staff so tracked them via a “clocking in app”. Lots of toxic behaviour (head office of independent retailer)

Safe to say there’s a lot of bad ethics where I live! All of the above were marketing roles

Asdf12345 Thu 06-Aug-20 15:13:32

Anywhere the panel have not been doing their research on you. If one arrives to find they have clearly been privately asking old colleagues and mentors what you are like it will be a good job. If they don’t know you from Adam it’s a bad sign.

FinnyStory Thu 06-Aug-20 15:15:35

I don't have one where I took the job and shouldn't have but one was an interview where they were incredibly frosty, no attempt to out me at ease or anything and when it got to my turn to ask questions seemed affronted that I wanted more detail about the role. I didn't get it but I'd already decided I wouldn't accept.

The other was when I tried to negotiate a small change in hours I was accused of "souring the relationship before we start". So I withdrew. In the role I subsequently accepted elsewhere, I have come across that manager and his poor unfortunate staff several times. I made a very good decision that day.

Trisolaris Thu 06-Aug-20 15:17:11

1) any questions that may not be illegal but are ‘fishing’ to find out whether you are married and have kids e.g What do you do in your spare time? How do you organise your day? N.b the first could just be making small talk but you can often get a sense from the atmosphere and whether they keep digging if you don’t give them what they want.

2) If there is too much emphasis on style over substance e.g having a certain way of dressing and presenting yourself rather than what you do in a role.

3) if there is a lot of talk about ‘cultural fit’ without really defining what that cultural fit is. Often is a vague catch all to hire whoever’s face fits best,

ForeverRedSkinhead Thu 06-Aug-20 15:18:42

I once applied for a job in with a closing date of October , I didn't get invited for an interview until January/February time.

I asked why there was a delay , they said that staffing issues were having an impact on recruitment. I politely declined the interview. I'm glad did because they closed a year later.

Buttybach Thu 06-Aug-20 15:20:20

I had a job where your entire days Toilet breaks had to amount to less than 2.5 minutes. If you went over an email was sent to the entire team to tell them exactly how long you had spent on the loo,
Unbeknownst to me I had Endometriosis and it was everywhere.

I thought it was IBS. To have an email sent out on a daily basis to everyone to tell them how long I had been...really put me a in a dark
place mentally.

OhioOhioOhio Thu 06-Aug-20 15:21:06

Telling you that you should grass up colleagues for sagging them off.

AdoptedBumpkin Thu 06-Aug-20 15:22:59

Any place where they are vague about the job description or salary. Also any job where you are significantly underpaid in proportion to the hours. In my experience tight-fisted employers are often the ones who are the most demanding.

Lowprofilename Thu 06-Aug-20 15:25:28

If they offer you the job at the interview, depending on the role.

In hindsight they were desperate for staff and had a very high turnover. The interview was more of a test of turning up on time, and wearing appropriate clothes.

Ratonastick Thu 06-Aug-20 15:54:13

Spent the first two weeks being told all the things I couldn’t do, what I couldn’t say, what I couldn’t see! all of which prevented me doing the job I was hired for. And my direct report refused to give me information and when I queried it I was told he would be attending all meetings with me anyway so it didn’t matter, Oh and they were doing something I fundamentally disagreed with and was specifically told would not happen during the recruitment process.

There was no third week.

FinnyStory Thu 06-Aug-20 16:02:04

I was offered one of the best jobs I ever had at interview. I think they couldn't believe their luck after my presentation and didn't want to risk me going on to another interview grin

FinallyHere Thu 06-Aug-20 16:08:00

The main thing to look for is being treated like a decent human being, so I mostly look out for 'how' they do things as much as what they actually do.

For example, if someone is running late, there is a big difference between just leaving you waiting with no apology and someone who sends a colleague or assistant to apologise for the delay, offer more water etc while you wait and keep you posted. If you can engage that person in conversation, you might well learn a lot.

Remember it's a two way process, as much about whether you want to work for them as their opinion of you. The times when I have wanted the job, it was because I really enjoyed the conversation and felt they were skilled at asking questions designed to find out about me and also prepared to tell me about what to expect.

Ideally, you would want to meet the person for whom you would be working, who is not necessarily the person interviewing you.

I've only actually had a few 'cold' interviews where I didn't know at least some of the people with whom I would be working. Networks and moving internally to better things make it a CB lot easier to job new jobs. Good luck.

AutumnHaze Thu 06-Aug-20 16:09:56

Great thread idea, OP, thanks. And like with the dating equivalent, I cannot believe it. I thought it was just me. The family planning questions, getting offered the job on the day, or a significant delay since application deadline, low pay ... Still, unlike with dates, it is generally much better to have a job - and therefore financial independence - than not, plus ways to destress and stay resilient.

Bargebill19 Thu 06-Aug-20 16:17:00

Being interviewed for a management position by the part time admin - not HR or other managers. The admin didn’t even know what the job role was.
Applying for an agency advertised role and having the interview time altered several times then having the same problem with the induction course and finally the start date.

All giant red flags I failed to see. 🙃

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