Warning signs at an interview

We’ve all had that one crap job that we have hated. Sometimes, with hindsight, all the warning signs were right there at the interview. But how do you know what they are until it’s too late?

I’ll share mine, in the hope that you all will share yours and we can help someone in the process.

1. You get interviewed by the entire team.
This shows a complete lack of leadership within the company, with no single person able to stand up and take charge.
In the future it will be impossible to get anything done without meetings, discussions, and several signatures. It will make your job a nightmare and your line of authority will be forever changing.
I used to work in an office of just 10 people. There was one line of authority that was 4 people deep!! How does that work when it comes to reviews and objective setting? I can tell you from personal experience – BADLY!

2. The interview goes on for ages.
This shows a total lack of respect for the fact that you might have somewhere else to be. Perhaps mainly applicable at a lunchtime or early morning interview, these guys should know that you have a current job to get to. Keeping you there for over an hour shows ignorance and bad manners since they know full well that your current loyalties lie with your current employer.
Imagine my frustration at having this happen 9 times for me to get my job! It was played up and up, and I finally got to meet the God-like CEO, who ultimately turned out to be the office dinosaur! 100% not worth it.

3. They don’t ask you anything remotely interesting.
They ask the bog standard questions, and just run through your cv and ask you why you left. They’ve clearly not read your cv before the interview and you are wondering why they picked you to come in over anyone else. Were you the only applicant??
These people are generally dull, boring and will probably sit in their office all day and barely speak to you.
I once got asked in an interview: if I could do one thing, money no object, to change the world, what would it be? This person turned out to be the best boss I’ve ever had. Perhaps you could try asking that question at your next interview!

4. They interview you one by one.
Interviewing in multiples shows teamwork and good manners (when it comes to your time). Interviewing you one by one by one suggests that they are all a little too big for their boots. It shows an element of arrogance that they all think they deserve your time to themselves. Even if it’s just to ask the same dull questions as everyone else.
These people have no concept of scalability, and you are likely to find that your new role consists of a lot of rework and doing the same things a slightly different way for each person. 

It’s really important to remember that interviews are as much about the company finding out about you as you finding out about the company. Don’t be afraid to ask to go in for another interview if you’ve not been able to make your mind up. I’ve done this before and the interview felt completely different. Instead of being interrogated, I was calling the shots and I ended up turning the company’s job offer down as I didn’t feel that they were the right fit for me.

When your boss can’t be bothered

What do you do when your boss doesn’t seem to give a toss about the running of your company?

I was in a position once where my boss (the owner of the company) seemed to not care one iota about keeping meetings or signing off expenses, or doing any of the daily functions required to run a business.

So what can you do?

I can tell you, it’s super hard to give a rat’s ass about your job when even the owner can’t be bothered.

Like the time I had to cancel some poor chap’s interview for the eighth time. I felt like telling him not to bother coming back at all because its such an awful company.

Or the time I actually had to ask someone to leave our office after they had turned up for a meeting and the boss couldn’t be bothered to speak to her. I even think she heard him tell me “I’m important enough – they’ll come back when I tell them”.
They didn’t.

Then there’s the time I’d set up a conference call with our lawyers to discuss some payments we owed them. I was on the call when he walked in and told me that we would have to reschedule it because he had to get home before the nanny could leave. The result? They charged us a shedload of interest on the whole amount. Did I care? No.

The best thing to do when your boss doesn’t care is to run a mile. Pack your desk up and get the hell out of there. That company will fold. Either because it’s a lost cause or because your boss is turning it to crap.
You will eventually stop getting clients and / or business and the company will wither and die. Go and find yourself a company that actually wants to be in business.
Get out while you can!

Have you been in this position before? What did you do? Are you still there?