Job hunting – 5 things to look out for
If you're on the hunt for employment, any interview or job offer is considered a blessing. But if you're too focused on just landing a job, you may be missing some easy-to-spot red flags that indicate the position or company is not at all what you wanted or expected.
Here are some clues to look out for along the way. They may be reasons to reject a job offer.
1. You're contacted immediately after applying
Even in today's world of online resume submissions, most companies still take at least a few days to get in touch with promising applicants. If you're asked to schedule a job interview within minutes of applying, that could be a sign that not many people want the job.
Joy Schneer, professor of management at Rider University, said these quick-to-act companies usually prey on fresh college graduates.
"They're going to be flattered and excited and be willing to jump into a job without checking it out fully," she said.
2. The interviewer is unprofessional/unprepared
You show up 15 minutes early, but the interviewer arrives 15 minutes late. During your chat, they are having a separate conversation through email or text message. You're not even sure if they're listening to what you have to say.
Schneer said an interviewer should be knowledgeable of the background information you've already provided. They shouldn't be asking questions that can be answered simply by glancing at your resume.
And just as you should be prepared to answer any questions, the interviewer should be open to offering answers, according to Dr. Chester Spell of the Rutgers School of Business-Camden.
"If they seem like they won't answer your questions, or they seem invasive in some way, it's hard for you to find out what the job is about," Spell said.
3. Unpleasant results on the Internet
Before applying for a job, or after being contacted for an interview, search online for reviews of the company. If there's a high turnover rate or negative comments about the company's culture, this may not be the position for you.
What may be even more telling, though, is a complete lack of an online identity.
"If they tell you they've been in business for 100 years, and it's hard for you to check on that, that's another red flag," Spell said.
4. Odd spot for a job listing
While it can't be guaranteed that every listing on every major job hunt site is legit and actually exists, the odds of finding solid employment are much lower on forums such as Craigslist.
Schneer said when companies use this route to recruit, they're usually testing out their hiring process and examining how much staff the company can handle.
"It could even be a legitimate position, but they're not secure about whether or not they want to hire," said Schneer, whose friend recently got fired after three months from a job she landed on Craigslist.
5. Shady requests
This may seem like some obvious advice, but there are victims every day: Avoid any position that forces you to spend money in order to land the job. According to Spell, this type of scheme is usually associated with sales positions.
"They will try to get you to buy a sales kit and say if you want to be hired, you need to put up money," he said. "If you're an employee, they're supposed to be paying you."
Also, an ideal interview location would be inside an office building or warehouse, or at least a spot that's associated with the position. If you're told to meet at a hotel room, proceed with caution.