Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, but they are essential for landing that dream job. While it’s natural to feel a bit anxious, certain signs can indicate your interview isn’t going as well as you hoped. Recognizing these red flags during the interview can help you adjust your approach or at least prepare for a possible rejection. In this blog, we’ll discuss five common red flags that might suggest your interview isn’t going well and provide tips on how to address them. I’ll also share one of my not-so-positive interview experiences later.
1. Minimal Engagement from the Interviewer:
One of the most evident signs that your interview might not be going well is when the interviewer appears disengaged or uninterested. If they seem distracted, frequently checking their phone, or not actively listening to your responses, it’s a clear red flag. To address this issue, try to make your responses more engaging and concise. Ask the interviewer questions to involve them in the conversation and show your enthusiasm for the role.
2. Negative Body Language:
Body language speaks volumes. If you notice the interviewer displaying negative body language, such as crossed arms, frowning, or avoiding eye contact, it’s a sign of disinterest or skepticism. To counteract this red flag, maintain good posture, make eye contact, and smile when appropriate. Projecting confidence and positivity can help improve the interviewer’s perception of you.
3. Lack of Follow-Up Questions:
A positive interview usually involves the interviewer asking follow-up questions or delving deeper into your responses. A good interviewer will probe for additional information. They want to gather more evidence, and they’re curious to find out more. If you find that the conversation is one-sided, with the interviewer not probing further, it may indicate they’re not fully convinced or interested. To address this, offer more detailed responses, emphasizing your relevant skills and experiences. Proactively provide additional examples to demonstrate your qualifications.
4. Misalignment of Company Culture or Values:
During an interview, discussions about company culture and values are common. If you sense that your values or expectations don’t align with the company’s, it’s a significant red flag. To address this issue, ask more in-depth questions about the company’s culture and values earlier in the interview. Don’t fight this one. If you don’t align with the values or the culture, then it’s not going to work out well. Gather as much information as you can from your contacts, or the interviewers and make an informed (not desperate decision!). This can help you determine whether the organization is a good fit for you before the interview progresses too far.
5. Short Interview Duration:
Interviews that end abruptly or last significantly shorter than expected can be a major red flag. It may indicate that the interviewer has already made up their mind about your candidacy. To address this situation, politely ask if there are any additional questions or topics you can discuss. This shows your eagerness and allows you to salvage the interview.
I was interviewed by the Head of Talent Acquisition for a large corporate company in London and the interview lasted 20 minutes max! The interviewer asked a few questions and the questions weren’t even that good. I should have known the interview was doomed when he turned up late. I knew fairly quickly that the chemistry wasn’t right and there was no way I was being offered this job. At the end of the interview, he escorted me out and took the lift with me to the ground floor. It was the most painfully silence and awkward experience I’ve ever had after an interview finished.
And, I was right – I didn’t get the job!
While job interviews can be intimidating, recognizing red flags that the interview isn’t going well is crucial. It allows you to adapt your approach, address potential issues, or, in some cases, decide if the company is the right fit for you. Remember that not every interview will go perfectly, and a challenging interview can still lead to a successful outcome. Use these red flags as opportunities for self-improvement and learning, and keep refining your interview skills as you pursue your career goals.