Things to look out for in a job interview

When looking at interview things there are a million words that you should say (And shouldn’t say) in a job interview.  I have probably read 99% of them.  I like to be prepared after all and since I look young, I always try to take the extra step to sound experienced and professional because…well, I actually am.  As I get older though and have been on more interviews and can afford to be a little bit pickier, I find that there are things that I look out for during an interview.  I really think that there should be more articles and warning about things like that.  More then ever, employers are looking for and fighting for the best candidates.  They are starting to recognize that while Millennials will always be a bit afraid of being jobless (Many of us graduated college in the Recession Crisis of 2008)  We are also starting to realize that we are desirable.  Gen Z-ers are even more of a challenge because while Millennials still hold onto the moot idea of the American dream and the sense that if we work hard and are loyal, our company will be loyal to us, I have heard that this is NOT how the younger generation think (This is a credit to them).       


We need to start being as picky as we think that employers are about us.  We need to start asking what these companies can give that will help build us up as much as we can add to these companies.  Interviews are kind of like dates and as much as we need to be putting our best foot forward, they need to be doing the same thing as well.  It is no longer just about how much you get paid but all the other things that jobs give.  This is not new.  This is why Unions were formed.  This is everywhere but in the United States of American, where we do not have guaranteed health insurance or anything else, jobs fill this hole and benefits are more important.  What kind of health insurance?  What about Paid time off?  How will they help you learn to be better at your job?  Is there extra training?  Ways that they can help you grow? All important, will substantially have an effect on you (And maybe your family) and all of these are things that you kind of need to figure out during the interview. 


It’s maddening right?  I laugh about it with friends but there are words that I have picked out during interviews and that friends have picked up on in their interviews, that can give you some clues.  At least they can once you learn to translate them. 


  1. We are like a family here:  Well, this means that we expect your loyalty but in an emotionally manipulative way.  We expect you to make sacrifices and put us first. 
  2. Multitasking:  We want you to do more than the job we are playing you for. 
  3. Lateness:  If there is one thing I hate its when I have an interview scheduled and my interviewer is late.  I am here on time, or 10 minutes early, and they should be too.  If they want someone who is on time, they should be on time and not flustered. 
  4. Fast paced environment:  We are not going to give you the time it takes to do things to 100% of your ability but we are still going to accept it to be perfect. 
  5. Entrepreneur Spirit/ Mentality:  We want you to treat this like it is your business, your passion, your baby, even though its not and we could let you go at any time. 
  6. We have an open door policy:  Come to us with anything but we can’t guarantee that we will help you or change anything.  But we will listen and hold it against you. 
  7. Anything about them not having/ no needing an HR department:  We don’t like to actually deal with our problems and refuse to admit that there could possibly be any personality clashes. 
  8. Asking hypothetical questions- aka if you have a customer who is upset/ how have you delt with these conflicts in the past:  Old. Question.  This is an old school style of interviewing that actually doesn’t tell you nearly as much as you think if does about the person.  Unless you are applying for a job as a cashier at Old Navy- which I have- these questions are…generic. 
  9. Being surprised when YOU ask questions- You should be asking questions about the company, and they shouldn’t be surprised or unprepared.  I always ask how places will help me develop my skills, what the dynamics are like, along with everything about insurance and benefits.  None of these things should come as a surprise to them because, to be frank, companies know that finding a good person is hard. 
  10. Offering you the job right away:  Nothing stinks like desperation.  It normally means that they can’t find someone to take the job.  That or people keep starting and deciding its not for them.  This is not a good sign as to the way to company operates, the pay, or sadly even the people there. 


Please share any other phrases and actions that you have come across during an interview that you think that people should know.  It takes a long time and a lot of career heart break to figure these things out and hearing it from other people can take some of that pressure off.   

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