5 signs a job may not be right for you
A job interview isn’t only a chance for a company to find out whether you’re right for a role – it’s also a chance for you to figure out whether the company is right for you.
A good cultural fit can mean the difference between skipping off to work singing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, or trudging off to work humming Darth Vader’s ominous “Imperial March”.
There are certain red flags that indicate the job isn't for you – both before and during the interview process. Here’s what to look out for:
1. A poor company culture
You need to know the good, the bad and especially the ugly. If you don’t like the company culture, you’re unlikely to stay long. Talk to people who’ve worked for the company, including friends, family and other people in your network, to understand what the company is like.
Check LinkedIn to see which friends of friends you may know at the company, and read up. Check the previous incumbent’s profile and other employees to get a feel for company retention and longevity.
2. Consistently negative employee reviews
Employer review sites such as Glassdoor, Seek and Job Advisor offer employees a place to anonymously review companies they’ve worked for. Be wary that reviews can be left by disgruntled ex-employees and be “one-offs”.
That said, identifying common review themes can give great insight into a company and what it might be like to work for. Look out for themes such as high turnover, toxic culture, low morale and poor management. If you do notice questionable themes, find a subtle way to ask general questions during the Q&A part of your interview, without referring to the sites.
3. A tardy interviewer
We all know meetings can run overtime but if your interviewer is much later than the agreed time, without acknowledgement or apology, that’s just rude. If a manager behaves like this at an interview, it may be a warning about how they’ll behave in the workplace.
4. Foreboding statements
"We work hard and play hard." This may be code for “you’ll be worked into the ground and lots of it will be after hours”. If you're looking for more work/life balance, beware of similar statements.
5. An unclear job description
Many roles in today’s workforce are frequently evolving, meaning we deal with some role ambiguity. While some ambiguity is okay, if the goal posts don’t even exist, how do you know where to kick? If the role is unclear, seek clarity. It’s important to assess whether the role is right for you.
A good question to help you find out is: “What would success look like in this role?” It’s also important to assess what level of ambiguity you’re comfortable with. If you are comfortable with the sartorial splendour of "wearing many hats", the benefit is often gaining broader experiences and skills to optimise future opportunities.
If you’d rather stick with one faithful hat, think twice.
What do you look out for when searching for a job? Tell us in the comments below.