We often reduce an interview to a candidate trying to get a job from an employer. A more accurate—and healthy—understanding is that it is a mutual conversation. Candidate and employer are getting to know one another to ascertain if it would be a good fit for everyone involved. As an applicant, you should be evaluating a potential employer as much as they are assessing you. Here are three red flags that should give you pause in an interview process.
1. Inefficiency. Beginning with your call back, notice your interactions with an organization. If you receive conflicting information or have to jump through unnecessary hoops, it might be a sign that an organization is mired in cumbersome systems. That can translate to headaches when trying to accomplish the most basic tasks.
2. Work-life imbalance. While you don’t want to appear to be a slacker when interviewing, it is appropriate to ask what it takes to excel in a role. If an institution’s top performers are expected to work 80 hour work weeks or be available around the clock, you may want to consider if that is a lifestyle you are prepared to adopt.
3. Power struggles. How do different departments interact? What is the relationship like between the administration and the board of trustees? Is the workplace typified by backbiting and suffused with tension or a place of mutual respect? Nothing will sap your job satisfaction faster than office politics.
Have you ever ignored a red flag while interviewing and later regretted it? Share your experience with us on social media.