That job is loaded with red flags - don't take it!

Written by: Georgina Bloomfield
Published On: 30 Sep 2016

When you get a job offer it can be easy to react quickly and accept it. Yes, there may be a few flaws in there somewhere, but what job is perfect? So what if the employer has offered you slightly less than you thought or if the environment was a bit odd when you took a look around. You’ve been offered a job and you should definitely take it right? After all, competition is fierce and the employer said there were candidates lined up outside the door. Wrong! If you’re feeling a few of these signs when you get offered the job or even before then, it’s time to rethink your options. With a little perspective you’ll be able to see that actually that job is loaded with red flags and you need to turn it down. Here are a few indicators:

red flags

The interview gives you a bad feeling and you somehow get the job anyway

Most of us wonder after an interview how well we think we’ve done. If you know you’ve made some errors in your interview and you just feel afterwards that you weren’t a right fit for the job and you still get the job anyway, it’s a red flag right there. It’s a sign that the employer either overlooked your errors because they were desperate to hire quickly or that they didn’t listen to you at all. Alternatively, you could just be really lucky!

Communication is terrible all the way through

If the employer never gets back to your emails or phone calls when it comes to arranging an interview through to negotiating salary towards the end of the hiring process, something’s wrong. They may have a good reason for their lack of communication and let you know (i.e. they’re on holiday). However if you find it really tough getting hold of them then they’re not an efficient company to work for.

They hassle you

On the other hand if the employer doesn’t leave you alone and you feel as if you’re being pressured into giving them an answer to their offer or they keep contacting you changing details of interview times or locations, you may want to think twice. The employer could be trying to make a quick hire or even trying to get you to rush into a decision before you think too much about it and figure out all of the flaws in the job. Remember; accepting a job should always be purely your own decision.

Task after task after task

If the employer keeps asking you to perform tasks to ‘showcase your ability’, or ‘demonstrate your skills’ before you’ve been given a job offer they could actually be making you do some work for free. This kind of task giving is hugely unethical because you as a candidate may feel as if you won’t get the job if you don’t do the task you’ve been asked. It’s almost light blackmail – and although tasks can sometimes be genuine and help the employer make up their mind, you shouldn’t be doing an excessive amount of free work for any employer unless there’s huge gain in it for you.

Tension is all around

You may get the opportunity to have a walk around the building or get given a tour when you go for an interview. If you find that there’s an odd atmosphere that just feels ‘off’, such as tense workers, whispered conversations or even sudden silence upon your approach – this can be a sign of a red flag in the workplace. Not every workplace is immediately friendly to outsiders and you can’t guarantee to get an immediate feel for the place on your first visit but if the place in general doesn’t give you a good feeling then you need to think of this as a red flag in the works.

Sorry, but the job is just too good for you

Employers should be doing their bit to sell the job to you but should never make you feel like you’re not good enough for the job and then offer it to you anyway. They may be doing this to get you to accept straight away when they offer you the position. You may indeed be the luckiest person in the world if you get the job but if the employer keeps focusing on this rather than you being a good fit, think about what their game really is.

Financial burdens

If you think you should just take the job because it’ll sort out your current financial situation and nothing else, this couldn’t be more of a red flag. Some jobs may be there just to tide you over, but if it’s the next step in your career you’re after or if you’re looking to further your own goals then look at what else the job can offer you. If it’s literally just money and not much else, do not take it!

It can be tempting to take a job because you need to rather than because you want to. If you do this, you’ll only end up resenting the job and you won’t be happy. Be sure to know your worth and don’t make any sudden decisions without taking good time to think them over. Some employers will want you to feel as if you’re missing out on something great if you don’t’ take the job. The truth is you can’t miss something you never had. Imagine the employer phoned you and told you that you’re not right for the job. How disappointed would you be? If the answer is not that much, then it’s a sign that you didn’t really want that job. Always look out for red flags before you take the job, and you’ll have no regrets in turning it down.