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Top Green Flags to Look Out For in a Job Interview

If you are one of the many people taking part in The Great Resignation, chances are you have a few job interviews lined up. When you’re in the midst of a job hunt, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing your next employer. Identifying the next best step for you is all about exploring options with a range of prospective employers and seeing which one would offer the best match for your top professional and personal needs, values and aspirations.

Red and green flags are helpful concept that may help you better assess potential employers. While red flags signifies a reason to stop, green flags are small indications that tell us to proceed. In the context of an interview, a green flag may indicate a positive working experience should you accept a job offer. Evaluating your job interview from the more optimistic lens of green flags will make it easier for you to assess prospective employers.

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone will have different green flags that matter most to them. One of the most effective ways to to find out more about a potential employer’s green flags is to ask lots of questions throughout the interview process. If you’re curious, don’t hesitate to ask!

In this guide, we will walk you through five examples of green flags that you should keep an eye out for in your next job interview.

Green Flag #1: Low Employee Turnover

The term “Employee Turnover” refers to the number of employees who leave a company (either voluntarily or involuntarily) during a defined period of time. Turnover rates tend to vary significantly between sectors and professions.

A higher-than-average turnover rate may hint towards major problems such as poor management, an unsupportive environment, or a toxic workplace culture. By that logic, low turnover shows that employees are engaged in their work, satisfied with their working conditions, and enjoy a positive, supportive culture.

To get a sense of a company’s employee turnover rate, find their profile page on on Glassdoor and read the reviews. If you are working with a trusted Recruitment Partner, they can also advise you on this issue. Or, you could simply ask the Hiring Manager about it in your interview.

Green Flag #2: Respects Your Time

Another tell-tale sign of a good/bad employer is how they treat you during the hiring process. One major green flag is that they show respect for your time. For example, this may involve:

  • Giving plenty of notice in advance of interviews
  • Accommodating your schedule
  • Always replying in a timely fashion

Behaviour like this indicates that they care about your time and participation in the interview process. This, in turn, reflects a company culture where employees are respected and are given the freedom, flexibility and trust needed to do their jobs well.

Green Flag #3: Transparent Communication

Another signal to look out for is the quality of an employer’s communications throughout the hiring process. Are they clear, consistent and speedy in how they communicate? Again, the quality of their communication is a clear indicator of how they treat their employees.

When it comes to communication, one major green flag is transparency. Throughout the hiring process, have they set clear expectations from the start? Ask yourself if there has been any ambiguity around timelines, next steps and feedback. Has the Hiring Manager been open about the harder elements of the role and the challenges facing the company? In essence, you want to be confident that there is as little ambiguity as possible and that there are no unpleasant surprises waiting for you.

Green Flag #4: You Agree With the Company Values

A company’s values can reveal a lot about its culture. The values that a company strives to uphold help give each and every employee a sense of purpose and meaning in their role. As such, it has a critical part to play in your own feelings of engagement and motivation at work.

A major green flag could be if the company’s core values align with your own. For example, if you care deeply about the environment then you may be best matched with an employer that puts sustainability at the heart of their business.

To learn more about a prospective employer’s core values, visit the “About” page on their website. You should also check out their social media pages to see how they translate their values into action

Green Flag #5: The Interview Feels Like A Conversation

When selecting a new job, you want to make sure that you will get along with your new colleagues. The only way to really know this is to meet them! As such, the interview is a perfect opportunity to see whether or not there is a good personality fit.

In the best interviews, you will find that there is a natural flow to the conversation. The Hiring Manager will be genuinely interested in getting to know you and you both “get” each other. Bonus points if you go over the allotted time without realising!

If the interview is more structured in nature then it may be difficult to achieve a natural flow of conversation. However, at the end of the interview you may get a chance to ask questions, and this is a good time to see how well the conversation flows.

Key Takeaways

Every professional will have their own unique green flags. Before undertaking the job-hunting process, use this guide to kickstart your thinking about green flags and then carefully reflect on what qualities are most important for you in your next employer.