While bagging a job interview is a step closer to finally earning a living, it’s important to ensure that where you’ll spend your 9-5 is not toxic. These red flags will help enlighten you
South Africa’s unemployment is dire. To paint the picture, Stastics South Africa Quarterly Labour Force Survey quarter 3, 2023, revealed the results of the quarterly survey, showing that the number of employed people increased by 399 000 to 16.7 million in the third quarter of 2023 compared to 16.3 million in the second quarter of 2023. These numbers show the desperate plight of people looking for any job to put food on the table. But on the flip side of the coin, a survey by Old Mutual’s reward-management platform Remchannel found that 82 companies lost just under 40 000 of their 618 430 skilled employees in the previous 12 months. While some blamed a toxic work environment, others cited burnout, stress or changes in their personal lives. Whatever side you find yourself on, it’s important to tread the employment line carefully, as money, although important, cannot buy your time and mental wellbeing.
With this said, as much as you have to impress your potential employees during the interview, this process is an importance glimpse into how the corporate culture is, especially if you are observant and ask the right questions. These are some of the red flags to look out for when you set that interview date:
Vague, generalised answers to your questions:
Often, the hiring manager will (or should) give you an opportunity to ask questions. It’s important to ask questions that will give you clear answers about issues or concerns you may have, such as the work culture. If you feel some answers are too good to be true or even vague, ask follow-up questions until you have enough information to help you make your decision. If the hiring manager is impatient or even annoyed or cuts the interview short, this could be a bright, red flag.
Undertones of disrespect:
As much as it’s vital for you to not bad mouth anyone or company you had previously or are currently working for, be mindful of how the potential employer talks about their staff or the company itself, especially regarding the reason the vacancy is available. If it’s a panel interview, observe how they engage with one another, as that could tell a lot about how they treat each other and their staff.
Rescheduling or taking too long to get back to you:
While unforeseen things can happen that can postpone your meeting once or twice, if your potential employer keeps rescheduling for the job interview or seems disorganised, it’s a sign they don’t respect your time or value professionalism.
The vibe speaks volumes:
It’s an open secret that most companies advertise and undergo the interview process to follow protocol (as they already have someone in mind for the post). Sometimes, you can tell that by a lack of interest or by the interviewer being seemingly distracted.
Ridiculous deadline to their offer:
While offers understandably have time frames, if the short deadline makes you feel like an ultimatum, then it’s a red flag, as you need to weigh your options and make the right career decision.
What other red flags have you experienced?
Additional source: Forbes