20 Warning Signs During The Hiring Process

20 Warning Signs During The Hiring Process

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By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer


If an employer called you for phone interview two hours late, what would your opinion of that company be? Don’t jump to conclusions: the interviewer may have been unavoidably detained, or could be having a bad day. Their explanation will help determine your perceptions.
 
Forming impressions of a possible employer – before they offer you a job – is up to you. This is part of the employer research you will do. Good thing you have many chances to observe their behaviour throughout the hiring process.
 
It starts with their website and job posting. Then it’s all about how they treat you, before and during the interview, right up to the way they offer you a job and negotiate compensation. During this cycle keep your eyes open for warning signals. Some are subtle. Others are more like sledge hammers you can’t possibly ignore!
 
Job Posting Warning Signs
Job postings should be detailed and clear. Be wary of them if…
1.  The job was posted months ago but hasn’t been filled, or keeps getting re-posted.
2.  It doesn’t list the name of the employer (what are they hiding?).
3.  A notice that “no experience required” is in there; it could mean they’ll hire a bunch of people at once then fire everyone right away except a select few.
 
Company Website Warning Signs
The web site ought to be modern, mobile-friendly, and it should tell you about the employer. What to watch out for:
4.  Outdated look of the site, or incomplete information.
5.  No way to contact the employer other than by filling out a form or via e-mail; there should be an address and phone number too, or else how do you know they’re real?
6.  The job posting on the website contains different information than the same one you found on the job bank; could be they’re not sure what they’re looking for.
 
Pre-Interview Warning Signs
If the company decides to interview you, they should contact you in a timely and professional manner. Be careful when…
7.  The employer takes forever to make initial contact with you.
8.  They repeatedly cancel and reschedule an interview date; it could mean there’s an internal battle over whether to hire or not, or maybe they’re just scatter-brained.
9.  You ask legitimate questions (like “Who will be at the interview?”) but they hesitate to answer.
 
Interview Warning Signs
During the interview you can get an initial sense of what the employer is really like. Use your eyes, ears and spidey-sense to detect alarm indicators, such as…
10. Being kept waiting for a long period without an adequate explanation.
11. As the interview proceeds it’s clear they haven’t bothered to even read your resume.
12. If the interviewer will be your boss, and you don’t like them, or they’re too demanding.
 
Post-Interview Warning Signs
Did you blow them away at the interview? If so, they should get back to you with a job offer (or request for additional interviews) within a reasonable time. Flashing red lights should appear when…
13. It takes forever for them to notify you with news of next steps.
14. There are too many additional interviews for that level of job; is the company overly hierarchical, and is decision making grindingly slow?
15. They insist you schedule the next step on their timeframe, even if it intrudes on plans you’ll have trouble breaking; that same sort of inflexibility may well show up once you work there.
 
Job Offer & Negotiation Warning Signs
An offer should be in writing. It explicitly points out your starting date, what your job title, compensation and duties will be, and outlines which benefits you’ll be eligible for (including when they kick in). Don’t sign the offer if…
16. It excludes any of the above information; if a detail is not in writing, you’ll have a tough time after proving that any oral commitments they made form part of the contract you agreed to.
17. Any of the specifics are incorrect; get the employer to re-issue the offer with the right information, and if they won’t do it, consider what that implies about them.
18. You’re given less than a day or two to think the offer over (they may be deliberately rushing you, which should make you wonder why).
19. You negotiate in good faith for better terms, yet the employer doesn’t budge; how will they treat your special requests once you work there?
 
Trust Your Intuition
Listen to what your gut tells you throughout the hiring process. Signs will be everywhere if you attune yourself to them.
 
Along with your intuition, conduct your due diligence on the employer. Combining your perceptions with some factual research aids you in deciding if you should proceed with the process, or nix it before it’s too late. Now for warning number 20: you can’t blame us if you get a new job and you hate it