Industry News

4 Red Flags to Watch Out For During an Interview

Just as during an interview, you want to highlight your better qualities and might want to downplay some of the areas you feel you can improve on, employers will look to do the same. As you do your research into a company and find out if you’d like to work for them, here are some signs to help you determine what’s really going on behind the scenes there.


Do you like how this company portrays themselves publicly? Do official statements they put out align with your priorities? Look on their website for a press or blog section for press releases they put out themselves, then check the news for them or even filings with agencies such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for what the company is doing. 

If what they say publicly doesn’t align with what they do in practice, the hypocrisy may eventually erode your trust in them to the point where you may find yourself wanting to leave. 

High Turnover Rate

During the interview, ask the person who is interviewing them how long they have been with the company and how long people in the role you’re interviewing for. Companies develop reputations within their industries, so ask people in your network about what they’ve heard, too. You can also find this information by conducting informational interviews with past employees, or by reading reviews on websites like Glassdoor and Indeed.

Each person may have a different reason for leaving, but if there’s no one left in a team after six months, you have to wonder what’s going on.

Employees Don’t Feel Comfortable Speaking Up

While interviewing, try to understand current and past employees’ take on whether or not there’s a “speak-up” culture at the company. Ask about the type of issues that they — or, to make it less personal, their “colleagues” — have brought up to managers, and what response they received.

If people don’t feel safe about raising concerns at work, the company’s ethics can go off the rails quickly. Employees may feel less engaged and stop putting effort into their work.


This is a big issue. Employees won’t speak up about problems if they feel that they are likely to be retaliated against.

To promote a healthy ethical culture, a company’s disciplinary process must be transparent, accountable, consistent and protective of those who report misconduct regardless of whether or not the misconduct was committed by the CEO, or by someone in the mailroom. Be on the lookout for media coverage of retaliation within the company. Ask about the human resources and compliance structures.

If you see any of these red flags, reassess why you’d want to work for this organization. Look for one that better fits your values. You’ll have a better experience, feel more motivated and proud of where you work, and be more likely to thrive.

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