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8/21/16 - 4 Warning Signs About A Company (That You Can Spot During The Interview Process)

Jennifer Malach 

Congratulations! You got the interview for your dream job. You’ve researched and prepared and feel ready to meet the hiring manager, discuss your resume, and learn more about the position. Remember, you need to ask just as many questions to the interviewer about the role, team, company, and organizational structure in order to have the best understanding of the opportunity. And more importantly, you can determine if the organization, office environment, and company culture are the right fit for you just by walking through the door and looking out for these four warning signs during the interview process:

1. The hiring manager or interviewer is not prepared to interview you.

It is evident that he or she has not even reviewed your resume yet or prepared any relevant questions to learn more about you and your background. If he or she is just printing your resume as you both sit down for the interview, you should be extra ready for the question, “Tell me about yourself.” Also, meetings and conference calls do run late, but if the hiring manager or interviewer is serious about speaking with you, he or she should not keep you waiting for more than five to ten minutes to start your conversation.

2. Employees, including management and leadership, are not interacting with each other in the office.

Are the majority of people behind closed office doors? For those individuals you can view in open spaces, are they all solely focused on their laptops and tasks or are some having friendly conversations with each other? Check out how the hiring manager or interviewer engages (or not) with others while walking with you to and from the interview room. Is he or she friendly to everyone (from the CEO to the receptionist)? Does he or she know people by name? Or is he or she barking orders and acting rude or unprofessional?

3. Take a look around the entire office space.

Can you see yourself sitting there every day for over eight hours a day? Does it feel warm and inviting? Or does it seem cold and unwelcoming? Is the décor modern and hi-tech or is it unclean and have stained furniture and carpeting? Are there visible advertisements for company social events or volunteer opportunities to promote community and networking? Is there a noticeable place for people to informally gather for lunch or coffee? Or is everyone eating at his or her own desk?

4. You cannot begin to imagine yourself commuting to and from this particular office.

If you can’t imagine spending 40+ hours a week working there, for that hiring manager, in that job, with this company, then that is the biggest warning sign of all. This may be your dream job, but you also need to be totally comfortable with all aspects of your “life at work” while you are in the office and not just the work you are doing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jennifer Malach is a Certified Executive & Career Coach with over 20 years experience in the professional services and software development industries including 17 years with Accenture, a global management consulting, technology, and outsourcing company. She has extensive experience in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, coaching, training and developing talent to promote their learning, retention and advancement. Jennifer has also led, managed, and mentored teams across North America.