In all my years as a resume writer I’ve never heard a job seeker tell me they wished the job search process took longer. What I do hear from my clients is that everyone wants that new job now, today. It doesn’t matter if they are unemployed or seeking a new position while still working, once someone has decided to leave a job, they are ready to move on quickly.
Depending on the individual circumstances, sometimes people can be hasty in their decision to take a new position. Here are some warning signs to watch out for before accepting an offer you might regret:
1.         They want to hire you today. Does this show desperation on the part of the company? Maybe. In all fairness, they could have decided to hire you before you interviewed and this meeting was only a formality. However, in most cases it is not normal to offer someone a job after a 20-minute interview.  Take some time to think this offer over, and make sure you have done your homework on the company so you are not walking into a quagmire of problems.         
2.         Can you start today? Well, a company could be in a bind because the last employee left abruptly, or it could be that they are disorganized and don’t respect the time it takes to give a current employer reasonable notice. You don’t want to burn bridges with your current company by not giving sufficient notice, and could be walking into a real mess with the new company if their last employee left quickly.
3.         Job description doesn’t match duties. So you read the job description and thought you were a good candidate for the job, only to find out there was a “bait and switch” in the advertised role and employer expectations. Make sure you are comfortable with the additional responsibilities and a salary that goes along with a larger role.
4.         High turnover. If you have been researching the company and found that this position has been posted several times over the past year or so, what does that tell you? It could be any number of things, but what comes to mind is a boss that is difficult to work with, perhaps a challenging company culture, poor management, or company finances that ebb and flow too drastically.  You could be the person to step into this position and stabilize the circumstances. Just make sure you know ahead of time this could take a “big fix” to solve the problems.
5.         Disorganized interview. Okay, so not everyone is good at interviewing job candidates, but savvy job seekers can sense when a person is just out of their element or truly clueless. You can ask if there are other interviewers in the process that have a vested interest in the new hire. If you think it is worth moving forward, you may get a better reality of the company, the job, and its employees that overwrite the feeling you get from this initial interviewer.
Most importantly, listen to your gut or instinct. Even if you may want to get out of your current work environment or unemployment status, if a job opportunity like this presents itself and you can see these warning signs, keep searching until the right job comes along. You’ll thank yourself in the end!
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