What are redflags to catch during an interview?

Nov 14, 2019 451 Comments

From previous experiences or current interviews; what are red flags that had made you turned down a job offer?

TC: 48k
YOE: 2 years

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TOP 451 Comments
  • Square / Eng FitbitHype
    How the interviewers treated you.

    Were they paying attention or looking at phone/laptop?

    Did they guide you in any direction or did they stay silent and let you hang yourself while doing a leetcode hard?

    If they give you an exploding offer.
    Nov 14, 2019 33
    • Microsoft cjkcjk
      I would guide and pay very close attention to how they listen, take hints, and run with it. The fact that you know something is useful, the fact that you can learn something or think on your feet in a new area is far more valuable. I’ve often rated candidates highly who could come up with creative ideas in new technical areas with a little bit of assist.

      I’m not talking about leetcode puzzles obviously.
      Nov 20, 2019
    • Square / Eng WheresJack
      Technically, all interviews should have some guidance. If not then all the interview is testing is whether you've literally done that leetcode question before. Which makes it a horrible interview and your signal only: "they completed my problem".

      Guidance to an answer is realistically what should happen. The signal there is more of do you listen well, can you internalize what others are telling you + extrapolate on it, and how quickly can you pivot from one idea to another?

      Those signals are so, so much better than: "the candidate regurgitated this problem from leetcode".
      Nov 20, 2019
  • Uber hawhaw
    Company name is called Prudential
    Nov 14, 2019 23
    • Travelport / Eng buttnpushr
      Wait those are perks now?
      Nov 15, 2019
    • US Navy / Eng fps_doug
      Travelport meant what do you do to earn 48k, not what you spend it on 😂😂
      Nov 15, 2019
  • Amazon ddRi01
    If the hiring manager will mention something about working more than 8 hours, even in very polite way.
    Nov 14, 2019 11
    • LinkedIn dsdsdsds
      So you're saying teams get overworked
      Nov 14, 2019
    • Oracle bNjw87
      I think this thread was amazing. One of my previous jobs had a manager which said "We work hard and play hard. I also ensure my employees have good wlb". Turned out it was a job which involved 24*7*365 oncall work and calling the product shitty would be an understatement of the century.
      There was a dead sea effect of "hey we don't want to make changes, but we would rather take oncall"

      My manager was really boastful and too lenient with making promises and not following up on them later on.
      He would have ridiculous demands in projects and when you would ask him, how would you do X. He would very slyly try to avoid the topic.

      I left it about an year after I got a better offer(but that time was painful)
      I usually check if the manager seems arrogant in any subtle way and that's an instant no for me. I also reverse interview my manager by asking him little difficult culture questions(like what time do people come in, what time they leave). I check for their reactions, some people are honest and they would tell me the employees work very hard even during weekends(I obviously don't join their team later on)

      So my advice is to ask before joining the job. You sure run a risk of coming across as lazy but I would rather be misunderstood than miserable.
      Nov 16, 2019
  • An actual red flag in the interview room
    Nov 14, 2019 8
    • Salesforce peaceguy
      Brutal
      Nov 14, 2019
    • Microsoft LowdayKBal
      That would be at Airbnb
      Nov 14, 2019
  • Health Fidelity krubslaw
    I once asked if I could talk to a software engineer at the company I was interviewing at. After a long pause, the CTO said “ya we can get you on the phone with India.” I was going to be their first eng hire in the US, with 0 years of experience. I was out 3 months later when they decided outsourcing was much cheaper than hiring in the US.
    Nov 14, 2019 5
    • Microsoft cjkcjk
      I mean market is steaming red hot for software including for freshers but yes its not always the case that immediate options are available on hand.
      Nov 14, 2019
    • It's good that there aren't 'that' many talented engineers in India or else all high-paying technical jobs would have been already shifted.
      Nov 15, 2019
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Microsoft gYVH75
      What’s wrong with this?
      Nov 15, 2019
    • Chewy midman
      Lack of cultural diversity. >50% of any one culture is a red flag
      Nov 15, 2019
  • Apple TIRM28
    When they have ping pong, kegs and cool “start up” perks they advertise, but their bathrooms make you pay 25 cents for tampons. Seriously, that’s a nope from me.
    Nov 14, 2019 7
    • Spotify dogfoodr
      Good! Spotify office has nice ones too.
      Nov 14, 2019
    • Flagged by the community.

  • SAP / Field Ops dULd42
    All these red flags are for people with limited experience. The rules are obviously different if you're near the top of your field or an executive.

    1. NEVER take a position that's just been created. They usually don't know what they want from you (but they always say they do know) and you'll waste a lot of time trying to figure it out. If you do figure it out, you will most likely get fired for a made up reason. But they actually did it because you told them what needed to be done and they realized they didn't want to invest that much time and money.
    2. You need to work for a manager who is highly competent functionally. He/she should be able to do your job with their eyes closed, and hire you because they don't have the time. This is important because they'll be able to teach you when you're stuck, and also because they rose up the ladder for legitimate reasons and not some corporate bullshit. In the interview, ask pointed questions that they can only answer if they're very knowledgeable. If they give non-answers, stay away.
    3. Unless it's a public company or mature startup with demonstrated success, choose salary over equity. Getting a job like 3rd engineer at Facebook or 10th engineer at Google are just as likely as winning the lottery. No amount of due diligence will be enough because even the top VC firms get it wrong most of the time. If you're ok with that, buy some lottery tickets instead of looking for a job.
    4. If it's a big company, your experience can be heaven or hell depending on your manager and team. Try to have long conversations with all team members if possible, and make sure they're all competent (they usually are if the manager is). This will minimize politics and maximize work.
    5. If they're giving a lot of important responsibilities that you don't have the requisite experience for, it's usually a bullshit job and they're hard-selling you.
    6. If they're over-paying by a huge margin for your profile, it's probably not going to last.
    Nov 14, 2019 7
    • Credit Karma / Other Hmj8378
      This post is good.
      Nov 15, 2019
    • New TebG83
      OMG! I second every item that is mentioned. Especially #1. My current role is a newly created position and the CEO said these words during my interview "It is a new role that we've created, and honestly we don't know what to do with you". I was a dumbfuck to not realize this was a scam, and basically did everything that they said. Fast forward three months, I'm sitting in a meeting room with the CEO and the COO (who happens to be my manager), and they go "we will have to decrease your salary from a 100k to a 90k, because we're not confident on you".
      Nov 20, 2019
  • DocuSign / Eng LandCnC
    When they randomly start talking about diversity just because they see that I'm a black man. For goodness sake, I'm trying to work as a "regular" software engineer. I don't want to be your diversity token. And I've been in such jobs in the past where they don't take my input seriously but like to keep me around because it creates an inclusive image which makes the hiring idiot manager look good. Never again.

    So, an unnecessary mention of diversity tells me how they look at me. Big red flag for me.
    Nov 14, 2019 0
  • Microsoft BallGravy
    If it smells like fart
    Nov 14, 2019 8
    • Sad that I didn’t get an offer from Microsoft 💨
      Nov 14, 2019
    • Uber / Eng unter
      Red flag - bro culture where interviewer can’t imagine an applicant might have IBS or some related, and can’t just step out of the interview room randomly. Hahahahaha though.
      Nov 14, 2019

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