Most people go into an interview trying to make a great impression. The goal is to convince the hiring manager that you’re the person for the job.
However, many don’t consider that interviews are a two-way street. Potential employees should be scoping out the joint and deciding if they want to work there. Sometimes, the red flags waving during the interview highlight that we shouldn’t.
Waiting for an Interview
One person came to Reddit after experiencing the most frustrating interview red flag. The Original Poster (OP) set up the interview a week ahead of time, but the hiring manager was nowhere to be found when they showed up (10 minutes early).
“I arrive at 12:20 and check in at customer service,” the OP began. “The team member there said she notified them, and they said they would be “right down.” 20 minutes later, nobody has come down, that team member walks past me again and said she notified them a second time, but they must be in a meeting.”
Op waited for an additional 25 minutes before deciding to leave.
Hiring Manager Magically Shows Up
The hiring manager appeared just as OP was heading for the door. Although she apologized for the delay, OP declined the interview.
“I said that’s fine, but I have other things I have to do, and it was extremely unprofessional to leave me waiting for 45 minutes and continued to walk out,” shared OP.
What’s the Proper Etiquette?
OP only came to Reddit to vent about the situation. Although this was the job they really wanted, they had other offers on the table, so they weren’t desperate.
The vent led to a lively discussion about interview etiquette in the popular Antiwork Reddit community.
Most users can give grace for a five to ten-minute delay. We get that companies are busy, and things pop up.
A fifteen-minute delay pushes it; anything over twenty minutes is a red flag.
“20+ and they’re either incompetent or testing you, and either one isn’t worth it,” said one user.
A Sign of Poor Management
Time management is a vital skill for managers, so when one is late to an interview, it makes the potential employee wonder what other managerial skills their potential boss is lacking.
“I believe in leading by example, that’s why the manager should always be held to a higher standard. Don’t have to run a tight ship, but a healthy one,” said one user.
Some users said it might highlight a manager’s inflated sense of self-import.
“I honestly believe that people have subconsciously come to feel like being late (in a professional setting) makes them seem important or busy,” said one user.
A manager who thinks their time is more valuable than anyone else’s might not be someone you want to work for.
Could Be a Test
Many suggested that it could be a test. Bad managers want to see how badly you want a job, so they know how badly they can treat you. If someone’s willing to wait on them for 45 minutes, they’ll also be willing to deal with a toxic work environment.
Your Time is Valuable
Hiring managers seem to forget that potential employees (and employees in general) are real people with robust lives.
If a hiring manager doesn’t respect your time during an interview, you can rest assured that they won’t appreciate it once you’re employed. If OP continued the interview and accepted the job, they’d likely find themselves staying late, coming in early, and working extra shifts on a whim.
OP Did the Right Thing
When you’re desperate for work, walking out of an interview may sound crazy. However, the only way to change the toxic work culture where managers demand that employees bend to their every whim is to do precisely what OP did.
The more people stand up to say they won’t allow toxic treatment, the less companies will try to get away with it. They treat people poorly because they get away with it, and we must collectively stand up to say we’ve had enough.