5 danger signs to alarm jobseekers

Due to the pressure of wanting a job, most people tend to ignore red flags

In Summary

• Think twice before committing your signature to that offer of employment


Ever attended a job interview but left with an uncomfortable feeling that something didn't seem right with your potential employer?

Perhaps it was the work environment or the attitudes of your interviewers. Perhaps it was something they said that raised alarm bells in your conscience. Due to the pressure of wanting a job, most people tend to ignore such feelings of unease. After all, how do you explain to family and friends that you turned down a job offer merely because of some unexplainable feeling?

Lots of people have taken up seemingly good jobs only to regret it. Points of dispute usually revolve around pay, working hours and mismatched expectations between the employee and the employer. If there was a way for interviewees to assess potential employers, life would be much easier, wouldn’t it?

The good news is that there are signs to watch out for before committing your signature to that offer of employment.

1. Excessive testing: Online jobs site Flexjobs warns against prolonged job interviews that involve lots of tests. The tests are necessary as they help recruiters assess your skills, education, experience and aptitude. At what point does pre-employment testing become abusive?

“If you’re being given too many ‘tests’ – and it’s starting to feel like you’re doing some work for free for a company that you haven’t been hired for yet – it’s time to cut your losses and move on,” Flexjobs warns.

2. The interview environment: Ever been asked unusual questions in a job interview? Career platform Fuzu warns about interview panels being more interested in such things as race, age and religion instead of discussing your competence for the job. Irrelevant questions show the organisation condones harassment or the interviewers are incompetent. If your first impressions of a potential employer are negative, there is a good probability you will not like working there.

3. The supervisor’s attitude: If you get the job, you will be reporting to someone, perhaps a supervisor or a manager. Chances are this person will be on the interview panel. The Harvard Business Review suggests being alert to your potential supervisor's attitude during the interview. Look for willingness to engage in dialogue rather than asking you pre-established questions.

“Think of it like rehearsing a collaborative working session with your future boss,” the magazine recommends. If your future supervisor is willing to engage with you during the interview, he or she will likely engage with you in a working relationship.

4. Bad online reviews: Do an online search of your potential employer to find out what current and former employees are saying about the organisation. Of course, every organisation has disgruntled elements, but if the comments are overwhelmingly negative, that organisation might be a difficult employer. If you know people who work for that potential employer, have a chat with them to find out if it's worth joining the team.

5. High staff turnover: If you notice a potential employer keeps advertising the same positions, that's an indicator of high staff turnover. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, employees leave because of dissatisfaction, attractive job offers elsewhere, discrimination, exclusion and other barriers at work. A potential employer who is constantly recruiting probably has serious problems that will also affect you if you accept the job offer.

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