If you’ve just been offered a job, congratulations! You put in the work, you convinced them in the interview, and now they want to hire you. While it’s always a validating feeling when a company wants you to work for them, it’s crucial to realise that not every job offer is a good opportunity.
Particularly when you are just starting your career, it can be hard to assess the pros and cons of different companies to decide whether you really want to work for them. With a little experience, you’ll begin to learn what to reject as much as what to accept. In the meantime, here are some telltale signs that might indicate that company isn’t for you.
1. Everybody’s New
Unless you’re interviewing with a brand new startup – in which case, you have lots of questions to ask the founders – it’s unlikely that everyone working there has just been hired recently. If however, it seems that there are an unusually high amount of newbies, it may be a warning sign. Take any chance you get to make conversation with employees by asking how long they’ve worked there. A lot of new staff could possible mean either a high turnover, or an unpopular change of management. Make sure to do your homework!
2. Your Interviewer Complains
In any circumstance, if a person you’ve just met starts complaining about the people in their lives, you should slam on the brakes and reverse. When this is the case with the person who’s interviewing you, you should definitely take that as a sign that there’s something unhealthy brewing in the company. Not only is it bad for morale, a moany interviewer may indicate some deeper issue within the company. Look elsewhere!
3. Excessive Buzzword Use
As well as being really annoying, if the person interviewing you talks a lot but doesn’t really say much, you should sit up and take notice. Some people are masters of obscuring a lack of knowledge with buzzwords, so concentrate and try to cut through the bullshit with your laser focus. It could just be a case that the HR person is trying to hire someone for a role they don’t really understand. What would be really bad is if the company just needs to spend their HR budget but they haven’t really decided where to put you yet. If that’s the case, then keep walking. There’s nothing worse than having a job with no real purpose!
If you really feel that the job in question is being oversold to you, trust your instincts because you may be right. Some jobs are hard to fill, and desperate interviewers could try to make the position sound more appealing than it really is just to get someone into the role. Don’t fall for it – analyse the pros and cons from an objective point of view, and make your decision based on your own findings.
5. The Role Has Been Advertised Repeatedly
If you’ve noticed that the company are frequently advertising for the same position, be wary about accepting the offer. There’s probably a very good reason that the role is constantly open. Maybe the department manager sucks, maybe it’s not enough pay for an excessive amount of work, or maybe the duties themselves leave a lot to be desired. Whatever the case – it’s a good thing to look into why!
6. No Sense of Potential Progress
Every job should come with a view to growing within the role and eventually growing out of it. If you don’t get the feeling that there’s any room to manoeuvre, unless you need some cash pronto, maybe keep looking until you find something better.
7. Weird Atmosphere & Body Language
Take a moment to properly observe the office atmosphere. How do colleagues interact with each other? How do they communicate with management? How does the boss address everyone else. Is it polite and perfunctory, or do you get the sense that the people there actually like each other? If you sense any weird vibes, it’s probably not going to magically fix itself when you start. Keep moving!