If These 3 Things Happen During Your Job Interview, Don't Take the Job

During a slow economy, it's hard to turn down even the least appealing job offer. But there are a few danger signs which, if they come up during an interview, are a definite sign that you should not take the job.

Learnvest has a full list of signals that you shouldn't accept the offer, but for the purposes of this post, I'm just looking at things that come up during the interview. After all, if the company can't hold it together for an hour or two, things probably aren't going to get better once you sign on the dotted line.

1. You Feel Like a Nuisance

The person you were supposed to meet with isn't there. The interviewer herself is absorbed in her phone, her email, or the inner workings of her own mind. No one makes eye contact, and everyone seems distracted. Get out of there while there's still time.

2. The Interviewer Doesn't Know the Answers to Your Questions

Provided you're not asking super tricky questions -- e.g. the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow -- your prospective employers should be able to give you answers. If they don't know the scope of the job, the pay range, or anything about your day-to-day responsibilities, don't accept a job with them.

3. They Offer You the Job on the Spot

Sounds amazing, right? Not necessarily. If an interviewer does a hard sell during your conversation, and presses you to accept right away, you should probably ask yourself why he's so keen to get you to accept on the spot. No matter how amazing you are, most companies will give you the time to consider before accepting an offer. If they don't, you should question their motives.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! Did you ever get a sign during an interview that this wasn't the job for you? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.



(Photo Credit: Ted Murphy/Flickr)


  1. 30 chris 12 May
    Why do you assume the interviewer is a her? Also the three reasons provided ARE POOR Assumptions. Why is this person giving advice? Here's some more. Don't follow these tenets AS FAST AS YOU CAN. The company may be harried because they need employees...hence the reason they are interviewing. If you get an offer on the spot you are in a good position to negotiate. Also a possibility. DEFINITE signs? NO!!! People do your research on interviewing, listen to this imp at your own peril. And finally, once you're in the door you can create your own job. If you don't like it you can prepare for the next. WoW!!! So much time and so little experience...Luckwaldt, good luck with that.
  2. 29 Roger Celestine 28 Apr
    To be honest this makes sense i am always as a marketing personnel in Trinidad been offered jobs on the spot also commission based jobs and never a stable dependable income. i HATE that!!! as these people see MARKETING on the CV its like they quick to offer commissions in the interviews. NEVER!!!! want to commit to paying you a dependable salary especially when they know its not just you but you plus you wedded wife and family. THAT'S WHY I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TO GO INTO BUSINESS ON MY OWN. YOU GUYS SHOULD TRY IT, DONT BE AFRAID OF FAILING OR NOT PROSPERING. I PRAYED ABOUT IT TO GOD BEFORE I MADE MY MOVE AND NOW TODAY MY FAMILY AND I ARE SOOOOO THANKFUL FOR HIS BLESSING AND MY FOOD BUSINESS BEING A SUCCESS.
  3. 28 Betty 11 Mar
    Allie: I had the same experience. However, I took the job, great salary (the firing part was left out, of course) and worked with the manager. The manager was very nice and I grew to like her. The day she left, I gave my notice. After much improvements on my part, I learned I was going to be leaving too! Best thing I ever did was leave that place and those people.
  4. 27 Brenda 10 Mar
    Great advise. I recently went to a job interview, which I didn't apply for. After talking with the hiring manager, where we talked about the position, we lived in the same areas growing up. It looked very promising. We talked about everything but the salary. When I asked, he said it was commission only and I had to give names of friends and family to start with a client list. REDFLAG. Then he wanted me to give my bank account information to pay for my own background check and pay for licenses need to sell Insurance, plus pay a monthly fee for the length of my employment with them. As I sat in the lobby, I FELT IT WASN'T RIGHT! GET OUT. The receptionist said that this wasn't for everyone, and showed me a shredder to use to destroy my application. Great Receptionist. Needless to say I didn't send Thank you note.
  5. 26 Alan 25 Jan
    Always trust one's instincts!!! I had a situation I politely declined a position, but changed my mind for the opportunities, atmosphere. The interviewer was aggressive and crossed a subject I thought was questionable. After interview #3, I was accepted for the job. I had success and praise others would envy, but it became a very stressful environment and a total nightmare. The general canvas was not a 'good fit' and philosophy differences between both parties. I'm in another position that appears more informal and supportive. There are a few glitches, but I believe they can be rectified.
  6. 25 Joel 03 Dec
    Is that an African or European Swallow?
  7. 24 Joy 15 Oct
    Interviews mean nothing!!! I've been through a series of positions due to oil patch ups & downs over the last decade or so & good interviews but lousy jobs & vice versa - so so interview but great job. People can put on a very good face in an interview & still turn out to be "godzilla" once you're working for them! Have landed in excellent companies but had bad boss - excellent boss in a so so company. The fit really cannot be determined in an interview. Sadly...
  8. 23 Adam 03 Sep
    When the interviewer who is your would-be superior shows signs of an intimidating behaviour. Imagine how it will be if he becomes your superior.
  9. 22 Kat 01 Sep
    My waitressing job...The work conditions were poor to say the least. I got paid very little and wasn't allowed to keep the tip. Never got a contract and worked behind a bar-turned-kitchen with knives around the boss's wife who came to work with her newborn. Was manipulated by the boss and treated badly by coworkers. 1: If you don't like the the product/service, don't put yourself in a position where you have to support it. 2: If someone who doesn't like you has an almost absolute authority over you, get away from them, even if it means to quit. They are not working in the spirit of the job, rather, they need self assurance and will try to get it by holding you back. 3. Watch out for poor management. People might try to pin things on you and if your employer is too busy to care about work ethics, you will have a lot to put up with and may be putting yourself at risk. 4: Even if you need the money, don't just do the job. Your emotional wellbeing isn't as unimportant as people make seem. If they tell you just to ignore your feelings (up to an extent, that's goood), it's most likely because they have something they are already confident in dealing with. They are not you and they are not in your situation. And lastly, trust your instints and make choices that you will not come to regret. If someone else feels comfortable in that position and not you, let them take the job instead. It's good to have the courage to quit or not take an offer when you have a gut feeling that it's not right - the earlier you move on, the earlier you have a chance to find something better.
  10. 21 froggy57 06 Aug
    Allie... obviously you didn't 'need' the job. You just 'wanted' a job. If you 'need' a job, you 'take' the job. I remember back in the forties and fifties where a dozen or more men were always standing off to the side, waiting for an opening... You messed up, bang you were out and one of the guys on the side jumped in, and was damn glad to get a job. Any job.
  11. 20 Veronica 12 Jun
    I recently relocated to Houston TX due to Spouses employment and have been interviewing for sometime. The last two interviews was interesting. Company A immediately attacked me before I could sit down about my tenure instead of asking me about my work experience. Then to push back, I asked to speak to the person I would be replacing and he was flustered trying to track down the person. In regards to Company B the hiring Manager had a hard time making eye contact with me she looked like she was more focussed on the intern in the room instead of me. The red flag really showed when I had applied for the position in Jan at a job fair which was the Company who sponsored the job fair and she said the position has been open for a year now and this is her 3rd round of interviews but that she's very picky.
  12. 19 Sam 30 Apr
    Another red flag is when the interview seems brief and you are not asked about previous experience and how you can apply skills and more so of past criminal background, how available you are. The company Rocket City Distributing in Huntsville, AL is known for this and one of the interviewers exposed of high turnover.
  13. 18 Jack H 14 Mar
    Ok but just the tip of the iceberg. Had several public service interviews which were just absurd! A senior female had her arms folded the entire interview and looked like a complete grump! After completing a 'test' session found out they just had no idea about the specialized subject area I was to be employed in and did not seem interested in anything innovative. She dismissed my work (several examples) with a 'is this all you have done in this area?' The fact it was another entire Departments strategy and policy initiatives which I had been instrumental in developing and that covered over 50,000 employees did not seem to count. When I decided to call it quits and picked up all my 'documentation' including the test answers they almost had a fit - seemed they wanted my work after all! I walked out with the lot. The male college of the female after the interview just apologized to me all the way to the exit! Seems she already had her 'girlfriend' penned in for the job! So much for PS MERIT!
  14. 17 KTown 03 Feb
    I once had a job interview with a woman and her manager. The manager was openly hostile in a passive aggressive way, and the woman seemed scared of him. No way was I going to take that job.
  15. 16 Eddie Tiggs 09 Jan
    This information is very significant and useful!
  16. 15 Carol 08 Jan
    One of the better jobs I've had - the boss presented as disinterested and gave flippant answers. He and company were recommended to me by my colleagues, they cited this was "not the norm". I took the job, it was the best thing I did. Turned out I was the preferred candidate, was the last person interviewed, it seemed I'd got the job in the first 5 mins of meeting him, he was just wary - would I match my CV - I stayed with the company nearly a decade, taking over from him when he left. Am so pleased I took the the risk.
  17. 14 Nilda Caniza 18 Dec
    Good advises
  18. 13 Rasputin_KY 18 Dec
    @Millie, Can I get details about your employer and job? It is indeed my dream job. I don't mind taking a pay cut, for taking a slow job at this point in my life.
  19. 12 Ken 14 Nov
    #3 has happened to me most jobs I have had. They were also the best jobs I've had. But prior to interviewing with these jobs, I knew exactly what the job was and how I would function. I have had a few jobs that went through an application process of multiple interviews. They seemed to be the hardest jobs to get. I also found that they were not the best jobs for me. The job I currently have I had to travel 9 hours to the job site for the interview. After the interview I was offered the job.I then negotiated my salary. They started me immediately that day. Gave me time for the interview and a place to stay until I got my own place in the area. This may not have been ideal for some people. But for me it was.
  20. 11 Millie 13 Nov
    #3 happened to me about 6 months ago and I'm trying to find another job. Thought I had found a super job with great pay, great boss, great company, etc. During the interview after I briefly gave him my work experience, etc., he says, I know you can do the job, let's just talk. Tell me about yourself. We talked about anything but the job for about an hour and he offered me the job on the spot. RED FLAG. The job is nothing like he and the HR department described. It's boring, just setting meetings all day. The phone may ring once or twice. This maybe the job of someone's dreams, but not mine. I'm a professional project manager and have better things to do.
  21. 10 she_saw_it 08 Sep
    Or... if on the second interview they offer you 14.00 an hour to start right away to see how you do, but they originally spoke about 70K a year... this just happened to me. The second interviewer wanted to convince me "why" I would not be able to do the job and was surprised to see that I declined the offer. The drive was over an hour one way.
  22. 9 GRIGS 05 Sep
    The first question asked me in one interview for an accounts job was:- "Do you believe there is life on other planets?" ... It went downhill from there really!
  23. 8 Cynthia 29 Aug
    Your supervisor lacks communication skills. Had her arms closed during our three_person interview while the other interviewer was happy even bubbly I would say. I had to open my own arms on the table to see if she could open her posture. When I got the job guess what I was on the money. I was assigned to her side of the floor. She was an invisible leader. Mind you she had a short meeting everyday but only to relay information that was given to her. When it came for her to say anything from the heart she would start sweating and address us like children. Moral of the story, grill your potential supervisors on their leadership styles because your happiness at work depends on how well they do their job.
  24. 7 Kellie 28 Aug
    Offer you the job on the spot although you have NO experience. Double no if they are offering a lot of money for the the position. They just might have a state inspection coming up and need a jackass for a fall guy. True story, and I'm not even eligible for rehire....(hello Labor Board, learn my name, please)
  25. 6 JohnS 14 Aug
    I've had #3 happen to me twice - 2 of the worst jobs I ever had and lasted less than a year each. If they refuse to give you a tour of the company, that's also suspicious. If they do, pay attention to the staff - if they look sullen and overworked, you don't want that job.
  26. 5 Kowalsky 11 Aug
    Sometimes the oppening is secret for several reasons. And we won't get much information about them.
  27. 4 Ellegator 17 Apr

    I telephoned an employment agency regarding a supervisory role.  The ad was for a supervisory position but other details like your job description, name of employer, location etc weren't given. She refused to give me the details citing she wasn't able to give that information until she received my resume.  Woot?! 

  28. 3 Allie 13 Apr

    Good article.  The third point reminded me of an interview I went to; the longer we talked, the more the interviewer became interested, and it got to the point where he offered me the job, saying that he had received 100 resumes and I was the top.  The more he talked, the more I became suspicious.  When he stopped talking, I asked why the position was open.  He tried to skirt the question, but finally admitted that he was firing the incumbent.  He then introduced me to her because she was going to train me.  I turned down the job, which I needed badly, feeling they should clean up their mess before involving anyone else.  Icky!

  29. 2 Enjoy your site immensely. I learn much from it. Keep the emails coming! 18 Oct
  30. 1 puttin 08 Aug
    Boy, this sounds like you're trying to protect someone from themself.  If you have such little common sense or presence about you maybe you should consider volunteering somewhere and gaining a relationship where someone else supports you.


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