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Job Interview Red Flags That Scream 'Don't Work Here'

"Reddit user Firm-Discount6921 asked: 'What are small red flags at a job interview that say 'do not work here?'"

Job Interview Red Flags That Scream 'Don't Work Here'

Interviews are never fun.

Much like auditions, it can be a very soul-crushing process.

You want them to like you... Not just for the adoration but because you need money.

But sometimes the signs start to shine for reasons to leave and never look back.

Too many workplaces are toxic and overly dramatic.

Yes, you need a job. But at what expense?

It's time to pay attention to what the universe is saying.

Redditor Firm-Discount6921 wanted to hear about the bad feelings some of us have felt in a job interview. So they asked:

"What are small red flags at a job interview that say 'do not work here?'"

Don't Hide

"If they aren't open about the salary of the position or its responsibilities. It usually means they want to pay you terribly and expect you to work well beyond the scope of your title. Also, group interviews, any company unprofessional enough to hold a group interview for a non-fast food or retail job is not worth working for IMO."

- Bugaloon

Sitting Season 3 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

Toxic Structure

“'The team hasn’t taken a vacation in two years' and 'I haven’t taken a vacation in two years.'"

"If your employees don’t get to take their time off, and you don’t take time off as a leader, you have a toxic work culture."

- Just-1-L

"I am so happy that my employer requires us to take at least one full week a year, preferably two consecutive weeks, to clear our minds and work on us."

"I normally take a week in the spring and one or two in the summer, and either one or a bunch of three and four-day weekends around the holidays."

- ima-bigdeal

Surprise Questions

"I always ask the interviewer if they are happy working at the company. Most aren't ready for this question and can't lie on the spot very well. Their face and body say it all. If they are happy, they relax and want to talk. If they are unhappy, they lock up and deflect or are terse with their responses."

- OtherwiseGarbage01

"Even better if you meet the team and can ask them. At my company, HR and management are happy as clams, but certain departments are overall miserable."

- stonedkayaker

Look in the Records

"Vague answers to direct questions."

"If you ask exactly what you'll be doing, who will be in charge/who you will report to, anything about wages and promotion/raise standards, how employees are expected to resolve disagreements, hours and how available you're expected to be in your off-hours, turnover rate, company safety record, etc and don't get a clear, direct answer, be a little suspicious."

"Ask another direct, maybe-slightly-uncomfortable question and see if you get a straight answer. If the interviewer seems to waffle or redirect the conversation without truly answering, it's possible they're not being truthful."

"You don't want to work for a company where 'we don't discuss other people's wages' (in the US it is illegal to prohibit employees from discussing their pay with each other), where they try to hide poor safety record, where you're told you'll be working 40 hours a week but it turns out they'll expect you to answer emails or calls on your off-hours without paying you for that time, etc."

- expat_mel

Count my Coins

"Just off the top of my head: When they want you to meet after work hours so the worker they are going to fire won’t see it coming - that is also how they will fire you. If you go to an interview during regular hours, when you walk from reception to the interview, no one is talking or smiling or looking up, or the place is empty. The interviewer asks you for your salary range and then says something like ‘Oh, we can’t pay you that,’ and tells you they will revisit your pay after X amount of time. No, they won’t."

- Alternative-Boot2673

Where is Everybody?

"If everyone there is really young, staff turnover is HIGH, and they’re going for people young and inexperienced enough to pay poorly. Nothing good ever comes from those places."

- binglybleep

"One of the best pieces of advice I got was to ask about retirements. Not in the context of the retirement policy but more like when was the last retirement or how often someone finishes their career with this company. Related or similar questions could be about how long your coworkers have been working there."

"At my last plant, there were 8 maintenance positions, and they couldn't think of one that opened up from a retirement. At my current plant, there are 6 maintenance positions, and 5 of the last 6 slots opened up because of retirements. If the retirements are happening close to each other, that's still a red flag; in my case, these were over several years."

- mjociv

Truth Hurts

"Always ask why the position became available. If half of the team is leaving. You don't want to be there."

- Ars2

Awkward Season 9 GIF by The OfficeGiphy


"Quickly hired, like on the spot, and any mention of drama. My experience is from my job that I’ve been TRAPPED in for years now, I’m quitting this month. They hired me pretty much on the spot and the manager mentioned that it was a “family” and a “building full of girls so it can be catty, but it’s over all a ‘positive environment’” I was 20, it was 2020 when everything opened and everyone was needing jobs. It was my 5th or so interview, so I took it as they called me hours later. It’s a salon btw... lolol."

- venus-begins

I Didn't Get the Job

"Had a phone interview for a library job after grad school in which the interviewer finished the interview by saying something to the effect of 'we don’t want any drama around here.' I was so confused I didn’t know what to say, as it wasn’t technically a question. I muttered something about how I do not cause drama and the phone call ended. I didn’t get the job. Years later, a coworker of mine who had formerly worked for the interviewer confirmed what I suspected; she was the drama."

- clumsymoon


"If it's an office area, did you get a chance to see where people actually work? If the desks were personalized but not completely trashy? Did you get a chance to interview with a few people 1-2-1 (ideal), or was it some sort of panel interview. If it was a panel was everybody oddly differential to the boss? Any unprofessional interview questions?"

- Mark_Michigan

Don't Look Back

"'We are a family here!' Which one? The Flinstones? The Manson Family?" RUN!!"

- _Bruzthechopper_

"Don't run; just be the dad that goes out for cigarettes and milk then never comes back."

- tacknosaddle

Run Omg GIF by Kick GameGiphy


"The toilet is in poor condition. It means a company isn't doing well and cuts its expenses wherever it can."


"It really depends on the type of business. If it’s an office building that has messy bathrooms, then yeah, you should definitely be concerned. if it’s a mechanic shop then that’s pretty average. amazingly enough the underside of your vehicle is pretty dirty and the people who work on the underside of a vehicle end up getting pretty dirty doing it."

- owlsandmoths


"The person interviewing."

"No work-related questions, and the interviewer had to ask me what job I had applied for mid-interview. If this lady is this bad at interviewing, what standards of hiring do they even have?"

"3 days later I get a call from her asking if I'd be interested in a call-back interview and my reply was, 'I'm sorry, what position was this for.'"

- bluebloodshot

Interview Wrongs

"Did the interview start on time?"

"Were they interrupted during the interview?"

"Did the interviewer make eye contact with you?"

- BrisbaneBrat

"I had an interview a few years ago where I showed up, and the hiring manager told me that I was there on the wrong day. I showed her the email from the admin confirming that I was there on the right day/time. Okay, mistakes happen."

"They juggled things to put together a set of interviews. Some of the stuff I heard clued me into the fact that the mistake in scheduling was most likely a major indication of how they do everything. When the HR person got back in touch with me a couple of days later, I lied and said that I had just gotten an offer that I was accepted elsewhere."

- tacknosaddle

This interviewing process has gotten grueling.

And sometimes you just get that "hint" suggesting... this ain't the place.

Follow the HINT!!

There will always be another job around the corner.

Don't get stuck in a place that will suck your life force.