Happy New Year!
I hope 2014 is shaping up to be everything you want it to be. This post lists 5 interview warning signs that it’s not the right job for you. Now, I realise that if you are like me and 99.9% of the population, when you go for an interview it’s all about impressing the panel to choose you over the other applicants. It’s not until later (usually when you are totally miserable and wondering why you ever applied for the job in the first place) that you realise there were a whole mountain load of clues during the interview that this was not going to be the dream job you imagined it to be.
So to save all that heartache in 2014 I’ve compiled a list of 5 clues that this is not the job for you. In no particular order these are:
The interviewer bitches about current staff members – This may occur in formats such as “well, the real reason I need someone is because we have this one girl, Megan who is just lazy but we can’t fire her because the government has made it so hard to sack someone these days” or in a more subtle way such as “You seem so much more motivated that our other staff members, some are just lazy”. Either format is bad news for you. Remember that if the boss is willing to bitch about others to someone they just met; the day will come when they do the same to you.
The interviewer tells you about what a family friendly workplace it is but you find out the Manager only sees their own kids once a week because work is too busy the rest of the time – This is NOT going to be a family friendly workplace. It may have initially started out that way, but if the manager doesn’t practice ‘family friendly’, the rest of the workplace won’t either. This actually happened to a client of mine who after the birth of her third child really wanted to work somewhere with flexi time and other family friendly practices in place. At the interview the panel nearly fell over themselves telling her what a ‘family friendly’ place it was to work and although my client had head on the grapevine that the Manager was so focused on their career that two full time nannies were in place and Thursday nights were the only night the manager saw her children, she took the job anyway.
Three months later she resigned because although there was a flexi-time agreement in place, she never actually got approved to take it and any time she needed time off because her child was sick, she felt she was actively pressured to come into work anyway. If you want family friendly, ask around and do your research before committing.
Your gut instinct screams “No” – I am so guilty of this one. What happens is you read the advertisement and it looks like your dream job. You get super excited, submit your application and attend the interview. Although ‘something just doesn’t feel right’ you are totally pumped when you get the job. Three months later your dream job turns into your worst nightmare, or is just not all it’s cracked up to be. Basically you let your mind override your gut and now have to suffer the consequences. In future if something ‘just doesn’t feel right’ for no apparent reason, screw reason and listen to your instincts. instead.
When you interview for the job, it is at a different pay rate or conditions than advertised– Uhh, one word for this – DODGY. This is more common in certain industries than others (sales is a good example). The advertisement promises X amount of money so you apply and get an interview (usually straight away- this is part of their ‘pitch’ not a regular old interview). Surprise, they tell you in the interview that you have the job. You are pumped until they add (almost as an afterthought) that your payrate is based on commission and that the advertised rate was an ‘example’ of how much money you could make.
Now this is a little embarrassing but years ago when I was in my teens I actually got suckered in by this one. I was very keen to get my first ‘real job’ so when I saw an advertisement for a ‘Water Sales Person’ paying $30 an hour. I was very keen. I sent out my resume and got interviewed immediately. Two minutes into the interview they offered me the job. Success, my first job after two minutes! Well, I was so thankful that I probably looked like a blubbering mess thanking them for the opportunity. Imagine my horror when two seconds later they explain how my wage is based on commission.
Of course, I already felt committed to the role so although I felt ‘had’ I still rocked up to work anyway. I worked there for five days, selling water door to door and pocketed about $50 for my 40 hour week. Now maybe I was just a bad salesperson (that’s very possible) but I noticed zero of my co-workers did any better. Don’t make my mistake – if they change the ball game at the interview, they are dodgy. Leave. Immediately. (Also – leave if they offer to pay you in free pizza – no shit, this has actually happened)
They want a one day (or worse, one week) trial without pay – This is illegal but I’m amazed by how often it happens. Now it’s perfectly normal for an employer to want to trial you. It makes good business sense and I would never hire anyone without this in place. But they have to pay you for it! There was once a service station down the road from where I lived that had a different person do a one day free trial every single day. They never ever hired anyone. Eventually, they did get caught and besides copping a whopping fine they got front page negative publicity in the local paper. It was no surprise that they went bust not long after. Still, this didn’t help the hundreds of people who had effectively donated eight hours of their day for nothing. Always ask if a trial is going to be paid and if not walk away. Even if they do hire you after your free week etc, it’s likely they will find another way to rip you down the track.
I hope the above helps you steer clear of dodgy jobs this year because you deserve better! Have you ever had a dodgy interview experience? Please share below and help others avoid the same fate.