Just as warning signs in a relationship can signal potential toxicity, red flags in job interviews can foreshadow a detrimental work environment. This article will delve into real-world examples of red flags to be wary of during the interview process. An internet user asked, What red flags in an interview reveal the job is toxic? The following responses made the most sense to us.

Extremely Limited Or No Vacations 

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“I always ask everyone in the room when their last vacation was.” Said one. 

“Or some variety of how often they take a vacation, especially for places with “unlimited” vacation. I interviewed at such a company once, and my interviewer said he never took off and was talking about a coworker who takes off frequently in an annoyed tone.” Another added 

When They Pay In Gift Cards For An Extra Shift

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“In one interview, I was enthusiastically assured that overtime wasn’t an issue, but if you pick up an extra shift, they pay in gift cards so that it saves you on taxes. 

I know they’re trying to save themselves employment taxes and time and a half; they’re not doing me any favors. I declined their offer.”

When They Promise To ‘Re-Evaluate’ Your Pay

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“We’ll start you at a minimum and re-evaluate in a month.” Said one. 

“This is what I have learned from many jobs and interviews. When they offer you a lowball salary and say there will be a raise in a month, or 3 months, you will never see that raise. The best course of action is to negotiate the very best salary before you ever start because raises are slow in coming and rarely, if ever, over 3%.” Another added. 

Poor Glassdoor Reviews 

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“When I mentioned a company’s dismal Glassdoor evaluations, they became so enraged that they ended the interview. Well. I suppose I escaped that danger.” Said one. 

“One place I applied to actually had the HR head give me a long-winded explanation DURING THE PHONE PRE-SCREENING of why their Glassdoor reviews were so bad. I hadn’t even checked out Glassdoor yet, which led to an entertaining hour or two of reading.” Another added. 

Convincing You To Lowball Yourself 

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“An interviewer tried to convince me to lowball myself after I said what I’d accept as a minimum salary in their offer range from the posting. “If we pay you more, you wouldn’t get a bonus at the end of the year, and you’d be upset when everyone else got one.” 

What he was “able” to offer salary-wise was $10k below their posted range.” Said one. “I’d rather get a salary than a bonus anyway.  A salary is guaranteed; a bonus is not.” Another added 

They Act Like They’re Doing A Favor 

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“The interviewer keeps telling you how fortunate you are to be there, like they are doing you a favor by giving you the job.” Said one. 

“This is big in unpaid internships, and it’s so annoying because it’s just unpaid labor that you can put on a resume. Since they’re so competitive, I’ve had this exact thing happen in 3 of 5 interviews.” Another added. 

When They Don’t Realize That Interviews Are A Two-Way Street 

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“When they don’t realize you’re interviewing *each other*.” Said one. “After realizing this, I was never nervous again.” Another added. 

Bossy Bosses

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“Had an owner of a restaurant tell me “If you have a problem, don’t come to me ’cause you won’t like how I fix it.” 

Yeah, keep your job.” Said one. “One of the key functions of being a boss is helping the people under you solve a problem. What a piece of crap.”Another added. 

Make You Feel ‘Money’ Shouldn’t Be Your Goal

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“Once, I had an interview where they silently gave me a questionnaire to fill out for 50 questions and just went to another room.  The questions were very detailed and stupid, mostly about money.  ‘Is your goal to make money in our company?’ (If you answer ‘yes’, you didn’t pass).

I left before I even finished answering this list.  And then I found out that they register employees for a meager official salary, promising to pay most of it at the end of the month, but they delay money for six months and don’t give it out if the person quits. I’m glad I left.”

Make You Work Before You Start Officially 

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“Trying to get you to agree to start before they tell you what you’ll be paid.” Said one. 

“Yeah, and being pushy about you starting earlier even if you told them you can only start from a certain date. Or giving you assignments in the meantime as a great way to get you started without getting paid for it.” Another added. 

The Word “Sales”

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“If you hear the word “sales” mentioned ANYWHERE in the job description, then sales will be your main job.” Said one. 

“Yeah, so many admin/data entry job interviews were wasted because they were all telesales or even door-to-door sales.” Another added. 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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