Job interview signals that will determine whether you’re making the right move

Five signs the company you are applying to work for is a bad employer.

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Deciding to accept or reject a job offer isn’t exclusively based on the salary and benefits offered, particularly for professionals looking for a long-term job where they can commit their energy and dedication and grow in their career. One important factor to keep in mind when embarking on a new career journey is the management style of the company you want to work for. A manager who is great for one person might not be ideal for someone else. So ask yourself what you want and don’t want in a manager before taking up a job offer. If you know what management style you prefer, you will notice the signs that indicate a bad employer in your eyes. Here are some pointers to stay aware of:

1. Vague job descriptions

Identifying an ill-fitting job can be done while viewing the job description. An ambiguous job summary may be your first bad sign. Realistically, a manager who doesn’t wholeheartedly know what the vacant role entails cannot clearly explain your responsibilities in a few simple words. A manager should also be able to tell you precisely what milestones you’ll be expected to achieve or show you openly how you can get promoted and advance in your career. If the job description is not direct enough or does not answer your questions, then ask your prospective employer for clarification. Having these details explained will help you decide whether the job is truly fitting for you and your career aspirations. The inability to specify all of the position’s elements may mean the manager hasn’t fully thought about what they really need from you or how they can help you grow. This is the type of manager who is more likely to surprise you with job responsibilities, projects or working conditions that are different from what you have agreed to on your offer letter or contract.

2. Negative office energy

When you walk into the office for your interview, you should be aware of the energy level that exists. Pay attention to the general atmosphere as well as the employees’ demeanour. Do the employees seem relaxed and happy or do they seem stressed and disconnected? The type of energy you feel at this moment is likely to be what you will be dealing with on a daily basis if you choose to accept the job offer. Your job interview is a great opportunity to observe your potential coworkers’ behaviour and watch how they interact with their supervisors, as it can tell you so much about the work environment and the type of relationship management has with employees.

3. Unorganised workspace

Take a look at how organised your future office space and your prospective coworkers are during your visit. If the people interviewing you seem unprepared or they are asking questions that are clearly answered in your CV, those are some bad signs to stay aware of. It could mean that your interviewers haven’t taken a look at your CV before your arrival or that they haven’t truly assessed your candidacy for the position before contacting you. If the hiring managers and interviewers are disorganised then that is, more often than not, a reflection of the general working environment. For some, having a well-organised and quiet office is one of the most significant conditions for being comfort­able and performing well. If you are the type of person who requires a specific environment to thrive in, then paying attention to tidiness and order may have an effect on your decision.

4. Inappropriate behaviour during the interview

A rule of thumb for the interviewer is to always treat you professionally and respectfully. For instance, if the interviewer shows up late, it might indicate they don’t truly value you or your time. Although tardiness can sometimes be out of one’s control, at the very least your interviewer should provide a reasonable explanation and an apology if you are kept around for too long. It is also easy to tell when an interviewer is being impolite or unprofessional. If they’re checking emails during the interview, constantly making or receiving phone calls or even stepping out of the office while you are present, this may mirror the type of interaction you will have with your manager once you are hired.

5. More talking than listening

It is true that during the job interview, the job seeker should be learning more about the employer and the company, but this process must go both ways. If the employer only talks about themselves and their interests without regard to your goals and needs, or if they don’t give you the chance to ask questions and dig deeper, then it becomes evident that your potential employer is not a good listener. This is where you should ask yourself whether you would enjoy having a manager who speaks and commands often but rarely wants to hear feedback, suggestions, or answer questions.

Suhail Masri is the vice president of employer solutions at the Middle East jobs site