International Executive Recruitment Agency


If you’re considering a new role and you’re not sure if it is the right fit for you, below are some of the signs to consider before you accept that offer.

When you’re actively searching for a job, especially after a long period of unemployment, it is tempting to accept just any offer that comes your way. I know it is a very difficult and tricky situation to be in, but then, you could be walking into an environment that is very toxic and could cause bigger issues for you in the long run.

To accept the first opportunity that comes your way may not be a winning strategy for you. It may solve an issue like getting a regular paycheque coming in and, believe me, I know it may be a big deal for someone who hasn’t had a paycheque in a while. Most of us have been in a situation where we need to put food on the table or need to pay rent. I understand it is extremely difficult to say no when you have nothing going on and things are looking bleak for you.  

However, you want to make sure that you understand your situation carefully so that you don’t end up causing more havoc for yourself. Unfortunately, if you’re coming from a position of desperation or a position of weakness, the company you’re entering has total control. If you are unfortunate to fall into the hands of an unscrupulous employer, I promise you, you will be worse off because you have put that employer in the driver’s seat of your career. You need to know the signs, how to flip the script and put yourself in the driver’s seat in your career otherwise you’ll continue to experience the same problems over and over again. Let me not take too much of your time, what are the signs that even though that job looks like a life saver, you should decline that offer?

If the Job Description Does Not Match the Actual Work That Is Being advertised: When you’re sitting in an interview you should have a clear understanding of what they are asking for in the job description. For example, what the requirements of the position are and how will you aligned to them. If you get into that interview and suddenly the job seems to have shifted into something completely different to what is being advertised, that should be a major warning sign to you that either the company is not calibrated to what they’re looking for or they’re trying to bite off more than they can chew. If you’re not careful, you may be walking into a situation that’s going to lead to job dissatisfaction and burn out.

Truth be told, a lot of times unscrupulous companies advertise a role with a clear job description and put you into another role saying that they will put you back into the original role. When you are faced with such a situation, the ideal thing is to run for the hills because that is not probably going to happen. However, if it happens,  it is probably for a blended role that you didn’t sign up for. I am speaking from experience; these companies put a bait to lure you into the job only for you to realise you’re stuck in a role that you did not sign up for.  My advice is for you to walk away from that job offer with your head held high. 

If the Job Does Not Align With your Long Term Career Goal: As the saying goes “life’s too short”, and you need to be in the driver’s seat of your career. You must know where you’re heading so when you’re applying for job opportunities and  interviewing, you must make sure that it’s aligned with your career goal. You don’t want to end up with a job that doesn’t fit into your long term plans. Ask yourself, why should you be entertaining the opportunity that will not further your career but rather set you back in the first place? You may think that it will be an opportunity to get your foot in the door, but from experience, you may be making the worst mistake of your life. Most times, things do not necessarily turn out the way you want it. I will advise you only consider opportunities that will further your career goals.

Work-Life Balance: Do you see yourself having a work-life balance? Can you enjoy quality family time while working for this employer? If the answer is no, then, there goes your red flag. If they believe in working hard but also having time to play and having time for your private life, it should be an indicator that, there is a work-life balance. If the position requires you to work excessive long hours, then you should think again. 

High Turnover: When you’re interviewing, you should be asking a lot of questions because you’re supposed to be screening the company just as much as they are screening you. If the role has a lot of involuntary and voluntary turnover, then you need to understand why that is happening. The only time to figure that out is during the interviewing process, how do you do that? By asking the right questions, because if there is a high turnover, that should be a red flag and you accepting that job means you know what you’re walking into.

Unrealistic Expectation for the Expected Output for the Role: If you’re interviewing for a role and you can clearly see that what they’re asking for is a full time job plus additional amount of work, you need to ask yourself if that is what you want. Most times hiring managers don’t have realistic expectations for what is achievable. If they advertise a job that is clearly very demanding that requires more pay with a very small budget, think twice before jumping into it because you’re likely going to be set up for failure. Ask the right questions during the interview to avoid this difficult situation.

If The Pay and Benefits Is below Industry Average: You should have real expectations of your value, and what the employer is prepared to pay. If after interviewing and the company comes back with an offer that is substantially lower than what the market is demanding or what they advertised, that is a huge red flag. In a situation like that, they have not only wasted your time, it means such an employer have no consideration for you as a person and most importantly, you should know that there are other bootstrappings behind the scenes that you don’t want to walk into it. 

Don’t waste your time with a company looking for a superstar candidate with a budget they can’t pay for. If you find yourself in such a situation, you are never going to win. Unfortunately you will end up hurting your career growth if you accept such an offer. You should be moving upwards and not downwards. Similarly, if the benefits does not compare to the market going rate, think twice before jumping into accepting such offer because the chances of such benefits catching up with what the market rate is, is extremely slim. Good employers find ways to add value to their benefits packages so as to attract good and quality candidates. They know that good benefits and pay is what retains employees.

Toxic Work Culture: Personally this is a deal breaker for me. What are the morals of that organisation? What are their internal policies saying? Does it allow for growth? Does it allow for you to do your job to the best of your ability or do you have to deal with a micro manager somewhere?  Also, what is the hiring manager saying to you during the interview? What type of boss are they? What is their leadership style? What are their expectations? How do they treat their employees? These are the questions you should be asking yourself and also paying attention to when going through the interview process. Trust me, you don’t want to end up in a toxic work place. A toxic work place is one of the reasons for the high level of mental health issues we face from all over the world.

Companies That Do Not Have a Good Reputation: My candid advice is do not be afraid to ask them why the position is open, what the turnover rates are and if you can, check out their reviews online. Bear in mind however that you should be careful when checking out such reviews because some employee may leave a review when they are upset about a company. But then, why would an employee leave a bad review for an employer who has been good to them? Something is amiss. The most important point I am trying to make here is for you to target companies with reputation for treating employees well. For example, if they continually promote people, if job openings are as a result of a promotion, then to me, that is a good sign that, there may be an opportunity for you to grow with that company. Not only that, what is the external reputation of that employer in the market? If a company does not have a good reputation in their industry, then, think again before jumping into working for such a company.

The Job Has Been Posted Over and Over Again: Don’t get me wrong because in some cases, it may be that there’s a skill that is difficult to find, and it has to be posted for several times hoping to find the right candidate to apply for that role. However, if the role is not difficult to fill and the employer is posting the role continuously (for example, you see that role and few months later, the role is advertised again) ask yourself why? Most times people go into that role only to find that the employer baited them and the role is not what they signed up for. Ask yourself, why is that role still open, and why is the employer unable to keep people in that role? If an employer does not treat its employee correctly, they have a bad reputation or probably do not pay their employee well enough, then it could be a bad sign. 

Again, interviews are supposed to be a two way street, as the company is screening you to see if you are a good fit, so should you also. You need to think twice before desperately jumping into a situation that you may later regret. Pay attention to the little things that raises red flags and ask yourself some honest questions because you don’t want to be in that position and few months down the line, you are already looking for another job.



Subil Ltd,
85 Great Portland street
First Floor, London