WARNING SIGNS during the interview

One of my clients recently had a job interview where the recruiter was surprisingly aggressive and rude throughout the interview. Not only did he interrupt her several times, he also implied that she may be weak. He shared at the end of the interview that the culture is very confrontational and he just wanted to make sure she could handle it. If you feel weird after an interview, consider yourself warned! It is unlikely that a recruiter will tell an applicant to “run for the hills” during an interview, but listen carefully to cues that the culture could be a mismatch or unpleasant.

Here are some signs that it could be a bad culture:

✔ You sense no warmth or camaraderie between colleagues

✔ Everyone seems to be new. Lots of turn-over

✔When you ask about culture, everyone gives you ambiguous or disingenuous answers.

✔You only meet the boss and not your future colleagues.

For the record, my client isn’t weak and is a really high achiever who has been fortunate to have a number of quality finance interviews. I’d really love to hear from you! What are some other signs that an office could be toxic? Have you ever “dodged a bullet” because of signs you noticed during the interview process— or ignored your gut and ended up in a bad fit?

Check out the original post on LinkedIn for a really rich conversation between both hiring managers and recruiters.


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

Need focused coaching time?

Let’s get started