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.

More from PayScale

PayScale's Scary Fridge Photo Contest

3 Reasons Company Outings Are Worth the Investment

Creating a Personal Brand That Is Not Cliche


(Photo Credit: Ted Murphy/Flickr)


  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 16 Eddie Tiggs 09 Jan
    This information is very significant and useful!
  4. 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.
  5. 14 Nilda Caniza 18 Dec
    Good advises
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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)
  13. 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.
  14. 5 Kowalsky 11 Aug
    Sometimes the oppening is secret for several reasons. And we won't get much information about them.
  15. 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?! 

  16. 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!

  17. 2 Enjoy your site immensely. I learn much from it. Keep the emails coming! 18 Oct
  18. 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.


  1. Please prove to us that you're not a robot: