When to say ‘NO’ to a job

by | 09.10.20

It can be easy to focus on how stressful an interview can be and on making sure you give the interviewer exactly what they are looking for. But even in these terrible times when jobs are few and far between it is important that you remember it is always a two-way process. You need to be sure that the job is right for you and that it is a company you would be happy to work for and an environment that you would be comfortable in. Therefore, it is important that you don’t forget to look at warning signs that could indicate it is not the right fit for you.


You’re not expected 

You arrive at your interview as arranged ( 10 minutes before the time agreed) and the receptionist either can’t locate the person who is supposed to interview you or the interviewer says they don’t have you booked in their diary. This is a really bad sign.No-one wants to work for a disorganised organisation or a boss who doesn’t seem to know what he/she is doing.


The receptionist is rude

Rudeness from anyone is not acceptable. A receptionist is paid to meet and greet visitors in a professional manner therefore rudeness is unforgivable. True this person may be very unhappy in their role but there really is no reason to take it out on you. Furthermore, is this an indication that it is an unhappy, miserable and unpleasant place to work?


Your questions are not answered

Evasion is never a good sign. If the interviewer tries to hustle you out the door quickly and doesn’t give you the chance to ask any questions , or even worse , if they actually avoid answering you questions , maybe there is something they are trying to hide.


The interviewer doesn’t seem to know about the job

You are attending an interview in order to find out more about the job you have seen advertised. It is important that you are fully briefed about the role otherwise how will you know whether it is right for you or not? If the person interviewing you can’t give you a good insight into the position, they shouldn’t be interviewing for it.


The interviewer ‘knocks’ the person you would be replacing

Interviewers should be professional, and they should know that their job is as much about selling there company to you as it is about accessing you for the role. If the interviewer is bad mouthing the person who is leaving the role you are applying for the chances are that something went very wrong with their working relationship, and you don’t need that sort of atmosphere when you spend so much of your time at work.


There doesn’t seem to be any career progression

One of the most obvious questions to ask in an interview is about career progression and you must of course ask this because you want to know, but by asking this question you can also get an insight into the company. If the interviewer tries to ignore the question or is unable to come up with examples of how other staff have progressed in the organisation you need to think hard. Do I want to work somewhere where I can’t make progress? This may suit you. It really depends on where you are in your career.


You are not told about other staff members

 One of the best things about a really good job is working with a great team that supports one another, builds each other up and stays positive no matter what. If your interviewer seems to only be talking about themselves and the team hardly gets a mention, you have to wonder if they are a team player. If they are not, chances are no-one else is in the company is either.


The interviewer can’t explain why they enjoy working in the business

If you really enjoy something, whether it is a film, or the last meal you had or your job you want to tell people about it. If the person who interviews you can barely scrape up a smile when you ask if they enjoy their job, it could be time for you to worry.


Everyone looks miserable

While you are waiting in the reception area before your interview, look out for other staff and see if they look happy at work. What is the interaction like between members of staff? Do they acknowledge you and try to make you feel welcome? Do they look you up and down? Do they give you a dirty looks? Do they appear a nice bunch? If they don’t and everyone looks unhappy the chances are, they are and so will you be if you join the organisation.


The interview bad months the companies competitor

If the person who interviews you can’t wait to criticize their competitors then alarm bells should definitely start to ringing. Quite apart from the fact that no-one wants to spend their days with someone who likes to be negative ask yourself if you want to work for someone who is so unprofessional. Could it be that the competition is way ahead of the company you are applying to? Or could it be the company is in trouble because they are not keeping up with the competition. Another reason could be that the company are losing staff to the competition because they offer better pay and have nicer working conditions.


The interviewer is vague

If you can’t get a clear picture of what you would be doing, or the job description is very different in the interview than that which was advertised, those warning bells should be clanging again. If in addition to this if there is no clear discussion about holidays, salary, benefits etc, it really is time to head for the door.

The salary offered is below what you thought

Whilst it is a difficult time in the job market you don’t have to take an insulting offer. Know your worth, a small drop in wages at this time, i.e. 10% may be acceptable to you, anymore than this is not. Some employers do try to take advantage of workers during bad times. This is not the type of company you should work for.


You are called two months after the interview

You’ve had your interview and have not heard a thing from the employer then suddenly out of the blue you are called two months later. Don’t be flattered, the most likely scenario here is that they offered someone else the job and they haven’t worked out. Be very wary of this offer, perhaps this employer goes through staff one after the other. Do you want to be another notch on their belt?

You just got bad vibes

Follow your instincts. If It doesn’t feel right, it really is not right. You should not feel comfortable, happy and positive about working with the employer. You should have reservations. You spend most of your time at work between Monday and Friday therefore you must enjoy your environment. It may not be the plushest office in the world, but the job should be interesting and you colleagues nice.


Taking the time to think about what you want from the company you work for, watching for any warning signs and listening to what you heart is telling you in an interview situation can help you get a clearer picture of what it’s like to work for a particular business. Working somewhere is a two-way street.  You have a valuable skills and experience that you can bring to an employer so you need to make sure you ask the right questions and keep your eyes open to ensure you know that it is the right job for you. Don’t be desperate, don’t take a job you are not sure about, all you will do if you do this is ruin your CV.

Angela Burton