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5 Red Flags to Look Out For in an Interview

Interviewing for a new medical sales representative job is always exciting. If you’re getting ready for an interview, you’re most likely looking forward to impressing the interviewers with your skills and knowledge.

At the same time, you need to pay attention to their responses to your questions and keep an eye out for any potential red flags. After all, while you want to impress them, you also need to make sure that the employer is a good fit for you.

5 Red Flags to Watch For

Some companies try to conceal things like high turnover and poor company culture in the hopes of winning over well-qualified candidates. To help you make the most informed decision, here are five red flags to look for in an interview.

1) Corporate Buzzwords

You’re probably accustomed to seeing corporate buzzwords in various job ads. Terms like “family” and “rockstar” appear the most, as they tend to imply that the company wants someone who’s dedicated to their job. The downside is that even though these buzzwords sound impressive, they may indicate the interviewer hiding something – a problem with the company’s culture.

Some of the other buzzwords that you’ll hear in interviews include:

  • Using the words “grind” and “hustle” – These usually mean that the company wants you to be available 24/7. Your personal life? You can forget about it because you’ll be answering emails at 9 p.m. or during your kid’s soccer games.
  • “We treat our employees like family” – While you might think this sounds appealing, spend a few minutes pondering the idea. Do you really want to be related to your boss? Do you want your co-workers to be your cousins, ensuring that you attend every work-related event out of obligation? Another way to think about it: the company doesn’t have clear boundaries, so you’re essentially stuck and unable to avoid your bosses and co-workers, no matter what time they call and email you.
  • “You need to be hungry” – Hungry? Well, you will be, because this is often code for “the company doesn’t pay enough.” They want workers who are willing to go the extra mile out of desperation, as well as a fear of what will happen if they quit the job. The phrase could also mean that they pay workers small salaries (barely enough to live on) and large commissions, making them literally work “day and night” for their money.
  • “A self-starter would be best for the job” – Usually, it’s good to be a self-starter. You can motivate yourself and hit the ground running. However, if your future employers are looking for one, it usually means that they have no clear onboarding process. It could be chaos.
  • “We need someone who can wear a lot of different hats” – Want to do a lot of jobs, yet only get paid for one? That’s what this phrase often means. Bosses who expect you to do the work of three people will insist on finding employees who can actually do all of that work, without realizing just how underpaid they really are.
  • “Things need to be completed in a very specific manner” – Are you ready to be micromanaged? Some people thrive while under a virtual microscope, but many don’t. The more they mention very specific processes in an interview, the worse it will be. You’ll have someone constantly looking over your shoulder.

If you hear any of these buzzwords or phrases in an interview, it’s a sign that this is a job you might want to steer clear of.

2) You Can’t Get Straight Answers to Your Questions

Asking questions is a part of every good job interview. You not only want to give clear, straightforward answers as an interviewee, but you also want to ask your potential future employer a number of questions as well. In doing so, you hope to find out more about the company, as well as the position that you’re applying for. However, if the interviewer won’t give you any straight answers, then they’re more than likely hiding something. What are they hiding? You probably don’t want to find out.

3) They Want You to do Sample Work for Free

It’s common for future employers to want to see samples of your work. They may even ask you to complete a quick assignment using their specifications, just to see what you can come up with. However, these assignments should be just that – quick. If they take more than 15 minutes to complete (such as asking you to put together an entire slide deck for a potential sales pitch), then something is wrong. You don’t want to do hours of work for free.

4) The Job Description Isn’t Clear

While some want ads might not be completely clear about the job, by the time you reach the interview stage, there should be plenty of specifics regarding the position and what it entails. If the interviewer is being purposely vague, then they’re more than likely hiding something. And if they’re not, do you really want to work for a company that doesn’t know what their employees to do?

5) The Interview Process is Lengthy and Chaotic

It can take time to find the best employees. You can expect to go through a series of interviews and spend several weeks going through the process. With that said, if the interview process goes on for months and consists of employees showing up late for interviews, then it’s clear that the company runs on chaos. For peace of mind, you probably don’t want to work there.

Turning Down a Job

While no one really wants to turn down a job that they need, regardless of their medical sales specialty, there comes a time when you need to look out for yourself. Even if you really, really need a job, you should take the time to find one that fits your needs. If your interviewer displays any of these red flags, it’s time to seriously consider whether or not the job is the best fit for you.