Watch For These 8 Signs That the Interview is a Scam

John Krautzel
Posted by

If you're like most job seekers, you see every job interview as a win, moving you closer to your ideal position. This is especially true if your job search has been lengthy with very few interview opportunities. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Avoid automatically accepting the first job offer that comes your way, and watch for these warning signs that that something isn't quite right.

1. Employees Seem Unhappy

The receptionist seems gloomy. The workers keep their heads down and don't make eye contact. Your interviewer seems overly irritable. Any one of these signs alone likely isn't a big deal, but a long string of grumpy employees may mean the organization isn't a very pleasant place to work.

2. This Isn't the Job You Applied For

If you get to the job interview and it seems like you're interviewing for a position that's different than the one for which you applied, something's up. For example, maybe you applied for an in-house sales job, but the interviewer is describing door-to-door cold calls. This bait and switch sometimes occurs at less ethical companies looking to find skilled workers to fill undesirable positions.

3. They Want Your Money

It is unlikely that a reputable company would ask you to pay for anything during a job interview. If you need to bring cash to the interview to pay for any type of course, security check or certification procedure, it's a pretty good warning sign that the interview is a scam.

4. Your Interview Seems Like a Secret

Many companies are less than transparent when making HR decisions, but if you're interviewing offsite and are told not to talk about the job interview with anyone, it is a sign that there is something not quite right about the organization.

5. The Job Offer Comes Too Fast

Interviews don't need to take hours, but you should feel that it lasted long enough for the interviewers to determine if you're a good fit for the position. If you get a job offer within the first five minutes of an interview, investigate first before deciding to accept the offer.

6. The Interviewer Can't Answer Your Questions

If your interviewer isn't knowledgeable enough to answer basic questions about the position or the company in general, this could be a reflection on the general competence of its employees.

7. The Turnover Rate Is Sky High

A company's turnover rate often correlates with the dissatisfaction of its employees. Research the company's turnover rate and online reviews to get a good idea about the organization and its practices.

8. You're Left Hanging

At the end of the job interview, you should be given some sort of time range to let you know when you are likely to hear back. If you follow up with a thank you note and your own call-to-action and don't get a response within a reasonable amount of time, move on to another company.

Most interviews are honest attempts to hire the right person for a position, but watch out for interviewers who aren't completely truthful or job offers that seem too good to be true. Research each company, and have your own questions ready for the job interviewer to help you clarify any vague points and weed out unethical businesses.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch