Back To Career News

5 Signs That You’re Interviewing for a Bad Job

All of us, at one point in our life, have interviewed for a bad job. You know that gut-sinking feeling you get when you realize 10 seconds into the interview that this job definitely isn't a good fit for you. You ultimately leave with nothing but wasted time and a bad taste in your mouth. To avoid taking a job you'll regret, and to save yourself some time, take note of these dead giveaways that the gig you're interviewing for might be a bad job.

All of us, at one point in our life, have interviewed for a bad job. You know that gut-sinking feeling you get when you realize 10 seconds into the interview that this job definitely isn’t a good fit for you. You ultimately leave with nothing but wasted time and a bad taste in your mouth. To avoid taking a job you’ll regret, and to save yourself some time, take note of these dead giveaways that the gig you’re interviewing for might be a bad job.


(Photo Credit: David Blackwell/Flickr)

When the Job Advertises What You Could Earn Instead of What You Will Earn

Do You Know What You're Worth?

If the job you’re interviewing for was advertising pay like this, save yourself some time and move on to the next. If the selling point of a job is what you might earn, it’s generally a red flag that you don’t want to work there. The exception to this would be sales jobs that are commission-based but also provide a base salary or hourly wage. The entire point of getting a job is to have income you can count on, so why bother with “maybes”?

When You See Employees Blatantly Ignore the Boss

Sometimes when you interview for a new job, you get an opportunity to tour the office and experience a small taste of what day-to-day life could be at your new workplace. But pay close attention to what is happening around you. If you see the CEO or the boss making an announcement or speaking, are the employees listening? Or are they looking down and trying to act like the boss isn’t there? A positive work culture is one where employees are actively engaged. If everyone seems miserable, it’s probably because they are.

All the Employees Seem Really New to the Job

You won’t be able to know this just by reading about the company you’re applying to, but you can take advantage of your interview time to ask what the job turnover rates are. If a company has a high turnover rate, that typically indicates that most people who work there are not happy with their job. With that said, a great way to approach the question is to ask what happened to the person in the position before you. Use that information and the interviewer’s behavior to determine what your next move will be.

When the Hiring Manager Has to Sell You on the Job

Unless you’ve informed the hiring manager that you’re in the stages of picking between their job offer and one job offer from another company, the hiring manager shouldn’t have to actually sell you on the job. If you’re on an interview call and it starts to feel more like a sales pitch, it’s a good sign that the job is probably terrible.

You Only Interview With One Person

If the company you’re interviewing for only has one person interview you, you can’t really get real insight into what it’s like working on that team. Before your interview, research the company organizational structure for your team. Who would you be working with? You don’t want to accept a job on a mystery team and end up in a toxic work environment.

Tell Us What You Think!

Do you know of any signs of a bad job we missed? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

13 Comments on "5 Signs That You’re Interviewing for a Bad Job"

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
I had an interview like this on a couple of occasions. It seemed to happen quite a bit. One of them was new to DOD type contracting and were already behind on deliverables to meet contract requirements. They offered me the job and when I heard the offer I was astonished at how low it was. The second was similar in that I would have gobs of responsibility which included numerous trips to Europe and second language training. When it came time to discuss compensation I ended the interview shortly after hearing the offer. The majority of the bad interviews… Read more »
Temp agencies are an all-out rip-off so don’t waste your time. I found that if people start asking illegal/unethical questions during your interview it’s a huge red flag that you’ll be working in a hostile environment period. If the person interviewing you is asking the wrong questions: “What’s your religion? We only hire christians here.”, ” How many kids do you have out of wedlock?”, “How old are you?”, “What church do you go to?”, “Are you willing to go to our church?”, “If you don’t have insurance you’ll have to buy ours or be fired.” (This was pre-ACA). By… Read more »

A hiring manager too eager to hire a candidate strongly suggests the manager has a hard time keeping employees in the job. That could be because the position is an entry point into better jobs in the business but that is rarely the case. Most often it is because people dislike the job and leave for a better position or better pay.

The funny thing is that almost all hiring managers will Lie about why the position is open, most open positions are from employees who found better opportunities, just as you are adviced to put on the exit Interview comments such as “I came across this great opportunity”,”someone referred me to this position” etc are also lies. Ask for a contingency plan, ask how you will be able to advance your career and ask for examples of people who have been advanced. Most organization will waste precious time and money looking for new candidate while smart companies will spend it on… Read more »

Run if it turns out to be a bait and switch! It goes something like this…”Were you aware?”…and they proceed to describe what it is that you were obviously not aware of, such as…”this is a lower than low paying contract position” or “this is not the office position that we advertised, but a field position”. Don’t laugh, it’s happened twice in 4 weeks for a position that requires a higher education and state licensing.


Don’t forget to check Glassdoor for employee reviews of the company. The reviews are anonymous so you can some honest insight.


Great article! If I don’t see the pay rate on the job, I generally ask. I say that this question is based on your ability to wedge it into the conversation in a nice/normal way. The question must be asked when you’re interviewing with a temp agency. Interesting comment of Taelo. They are favored by Swissport and Air Canada. I’ve also had my resume disappear without a trace. Thanks for the heads-up.

Be careful with temp jobs that do not include an interview at the client company. I accepted a position with no interview other than meeting with the temp agency recruiter. I had registered with the temp agency a few months prior and had only done a 1-day job. It was not a good experience. Company employees were cold and unfriendly (at least 2 or 3 of them). Got no recognition for good work/performance. No reference letter. Very disappointed with both the temp agency and their client. Put in enormous amount of effort and took on quite a bit of responsibility… Read more »
I went to an interview where the manager wanted applicants to do a three hour exam paper including maths, english and geography for a maintenance engineers job.I asked him how a man with no management skills got the managers job. He seemed confused, I told him all one needed to know was what machines the company had that needed maintaining. I told him that he was wasting everyone’s time, and would never have passed the exam himself. I used to do Supplier quality audits, and found most managers to be somewhat lacking in training. The best manager I knew was… Read more »

My wife found a job to be horrible after the hiring manager virtually tried to answer her own questions and the panel’s questions for my wife. Micro-Manager much?!? 😉 It was much like a lawyer leading the witness, which is how my wife explained the experience. Food for thought!


If you’re not offered an office tour, its probably because the environment shows something less than positive.

The point about interviewing with only one person is quite accurate as well.


This remembered me such a bad experience in a call center, has all the points mentioned above, and when you are already in, if someone there doesn’t like you, just because, they just invent some piece of lie to take you out, this is in Alorica Dominican Republic, do not apply there, if you stay then, you will always be at the same job position for the rest of your life, they say they offer growing opportunities but it is such a grate piece of sh****t

Anita Frank
HOW I GOT MY LOAN FROM THIS GREAT COMPANY Hello my dear people , I am Anita Frank, currently living in New jersey city, USA. I am a widow at the moment with three kids and i was stuck in a financial situation in April 2015 and i needed to refinance and pay my bills. I tried seeking loans from various loan firms both private and corporate but never with success, and most banks declined my credit ,do not full prey to those hoodlums at there that call them self money lender they are all scam , all they want… Read more »
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.