After an arduous job search, you may be tempted to accept the first intriguing job offer that comes your way. However, it is important to take into consideration a few telltale signs that can be apparent about your newest job offer. Before accepting a job, review our list of red flags and make your most informed career decision.
The Person Interviewing You Makes You Uncomfortable
Your interviewer is often a good indicator of the overall culture of an organization. If your interviewer has no problem complaining about employees or using others as poor examples, this is likely a marker that the organization has little regard for positive employee relationships. Moreover, an interviewer who is rude to you or others in the office may indicate that the organization fosters workplace hostility, even if unintentionally. In the case that your interviewer will be your boss or someone you will work closely with in the future, this warning sign should not be ignored.
The Employer Makes Vague and Unfounded Promises
If you have been in contact with an employer that makes grandiose promises without giving specific information about them, you should be wary about their claims. Organizations that flaunt their competitive benefits and salaries are often more than happy to provide prospective employees with information detailing employee compensation and areas for professional growth. Organizations that gloss over details regarding their supposedly fantastic benefits are most times trying to sell you an undesirable job rather than extend a great job offer. If you’ve inquired about ambiguous promises, and have yet to receive a clear-cut response, this is a definite warning sign.
The Job Hasn’t Been Filled In a While or Is Constantly Being Re-filled
While you may not have access to this information, if it is mentioned in an interview or by a contact at the organization, it is an immediate red flag. An organization that has a hard time filling or maintaining employment in a certain position needs to reevaluate its hiring needs. The position may have an unmanageable workload or may offer a salary range that is well below acceptable for the amount of experience required. You will likely never fully understand the reason for high turnover, but you should still be cautious of a position with a poor track record.
The Job Description Is Confusing or Unclear
If you are receiving a job offer based off an interview that seems overly broad, it may be time to look at the job description again. Does it have specific duties and measures of accomplishments? A job that has been passed through several departments or supervisors may have tasks unrelated to each other or imprecise job functions. A job like this has the possibility to set you up for failure. Because of the vague nature of the position, there is a chance you may disappoint a manager or direct supervisor who has unclear expectations or expectations that counter those of another department you may work under. While there may not be something explicitly wrong with the job or the organization, don’t accept an offer where you and your employer are not entirely on the same page.
The Offer Seems Oversold and Rushed
While an employer may not necessarily be making empty promises, it is important to recognize when they are overselling a position to you. If a job offer seems more like a pitch than a career opportunity, there may be a reason why. An employer that urges you to accept a job or gives you an extremely small time frame to reply is likely trying to pressure you into accepting an undesirable offer. Most organizations allow candidates to take a reasonable amount of time to consider an offer and are willing to have open conversations about why the job is a fit for the candidate. If you aren’t provided this courtesy, it may be another red flag.
The Company Culture is Lacking
Although you are highly aware of the way your interviewer interacts with you and other personnel, you should also take note of the way other staff act. Is their body language defeated or energized? Do they say hi to other members of staff as they walk through the office? Company culture may be hard to gauge in environments with very little staff interaction but being receptive to the office atmosphere is a good place to start. Consider the way the office feels as you walk through it and are introduced to people – if you feel there is a gloomy environment, this job probably isn’t the one for you.
You and Your Support System Aren’t Truly Sold
If you are hesitant to accept a job offer but can’t figure out why, it may be time to go with your gut. When something about a job or an organization is making you question your potential success, even before accepting the offer, this is a sure sign that the job isn’t right for you. In some cases it might be a good idea to seek advice from close family and friends. They can offer a more realistic perspective if you are currently blinded by a hefty paycheck or impressive vacation package.
Being extended a job offer can be exciting, but it is important not to lose sight of the career that lies ahead. Consider your interactions with the organization and ensure that you haven’t noticed any warning signs that might indicate an undesirable offer. You will feel more confident that the offer you do accept is the right one for you!
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