5 Warning Signs Recruiters Should Not Ignore in Interview

  • Date posted: 19 Apr 2017
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So you’ve decided to move on.

You’re sure there’s something better out there.

You want to join a firm that will value you more and invest in the tools and training you need to develop.

You’re convinced there’s a team out there for you where you can be around like-minded people who will help you grow both professionally and personally.

But how do you know that the firm you’re interviewing with is right for you?

How do you avoid jumping from the proverbial frying pan and into the fire?

While I know it can sound daunting there are some pretty obvious signs to look out for. Signs that are easy to ignore when you're so motivated to leave.

Be warned. If you make the wrong move by overriding these signs you could do some serious damage to the profile you have built.

These are the top warning signs you should look out for when interviewing with alternative recruitment agencies – ignore them at your peril.

Me, me, me... 

Watch out for that interviewer that somehow turns every question or answer into an opportunity to tell you about them and why they’re great. If you don’t want to work for an overbearing ego-maniac then kill the interview when this warning sign is flagged.

A great leader will be genuinely interested in you and your opinion on recruitment. They will be a natural rapport builder and will go out of their way to make you feel at ease in interview.

They won’t talk over you, they won’t answer the question for you and they will listen more than they talk.

No sign of investment in staff 

When considering new companies, it’s important to see a commitment to furthering employee’s skill sets and encouraging their development.

The most successful Recruiters work for firms that invest in their tools, personal development and workplace environment.

If you can’t see investment in support staff, strong online presence, a high standard when it comes to office environment and a genuine care for work / life balance, it might not be the best place to work.

Shabby office? Poor holiday allowance? No support staff? Rubbish website? Poor advertising budget? These are all red flags.

There are definitely better firms out there.

Inattentive / disinterested 

In an interview, you should expect some basic courtesies.

The interviewer should have done more than just glance at your CV two minutes before you walked in and should be giving you their full attention.

If the person you are meeting with keeps you waiting more than 15 minutes past the planned start time, keeps checking emails or answering phone calls during the interview, it’s a horrible sign of how things will be once you work there.

If this is how they behave in interview, when they need to impress you, can you imagine what they would be like to work for?

Bad-mouthing competitors instead of selling their company 

You’re in demand, and if a company really likes you I can guarantee you that they are not going to like the idea that you might like a competitor more than them.

So while their negative reaction to your interest in a competitor could be seen as a compliment – watch out. 

It’s bad form to simply slate the competition. Great companies don’t need to do this – they know it makes them look cheap.

A company should convince you to join them on their own merits and should spend their time articulating their value proposition as an employer. 


Vague around key information 

Struggling to get to the bottom of how the commission scheme actually works? Can’t get any detail on how the desk has performed in the past and how well developed the client and candidate database is?

This should set off major alarm bells. If your interviewer can’t specifically describe the current condition of the business you will be leading, how can you possibly make sense of how attractive the salary and benefits are? How can you judge whether their expectations are reasonable? How can you possibly assess the challenge ahead of you?

Unfortunately, this lack of detail is usually a sign that either the Manager is completely out of touch with what the business is doing or that the desk is in poor condition and they are fudging you... if you want to work in a firm with shifting goal posts and you're happy to walk in blind then carry on. If not - run a mile. 

So, those are the top 5 interview danger signs for Recruiters to look out for when looking for a new role. There are many more but these are the fundamentals you must not ignore. If you want to take the guess work out of your career search and not only access the best firms but also gain the advice that you need in order to ace your interviews, just talk to our team.

Keep up the great work, Recruiters! 


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