Sometimes a toxic workplace can surprise you, but in most cases, if you pay attention during the interview process, you can spot the warning signs before you accept a job offer.
65% of job seekers consider jobs that require more than 3 rounds of interviews to be the biggest “red flag” for a bad work environment, according to a new Monster survey of more than 6,000 workers.
Asking for more than 3 rounds of interviews may indicate that the company is indecisive or disorganized, and because the company’s hiring process reflects its culture, it may not be a good sign of how it manages other aspects of its business, according to Monster career expert Vicki. Salmi to CNBC, and Al Arabiya.net reviewed it.
“In some cases, there is a valid reason behind the long hiring process, such as travel for some executives, or difficulty in scheduling different schedules for hiring managers,” she said. “But if they’re dragging their feet, it probably means they don’t respect the candidate’s time or aren’t sure what they’re looking for.”
Why are job interviews getting longer?
However, it is important to note that job interviews are getting longer across all industries.
On average, entry-level employees are looking for a recruiting cycle of about 6 weeks, according to recent research by LinkedIn. For more senior roles, the average hiring cycle is 7 weeks.
Stephen Leach, career coach and resume expert, said the growing popularity of extended interviews is a direct result of the highly competitive job market.
“With the advent of remote work and a greater pool of talent available to companies, they are becoming increasingly cautious and looking for more ways to accurately evaluate candidates,” he added.
How to spot this “subtle” red flag
You can’t change a company’s interview process, but you can get a better understanding of the hiring timeline—and the reasoning behind it—so you know what to expect.
At the end of the initial screening interview with the recruiter or hiring manager, Salmi suggests asking the question: “What is the timeline for this position?” or “What are the next steps I can expect in the hiring process?”.
After you’ve had the first round of the interview, you can also ask the recruiter, or any of your key contacts, how long the position has been open, and if they can share any information about why they’re hiring for the position now.
“Some companies may be reluctant to share details, but ideally their answer can help you see if this is a result of someone resigning, being fired, promoted, or if this is a completely new role,” she said. “If they indicate layoffs or turnover frequently, that could be a sign of a toxic workplace.”
Salmi added that most companies want to hire the right people quickly, “but they could have been hurt by a bad hiring decision in the past, and they want to be careful.”
Having transparent conversations with the hiring manager up front can help you decide whether the job is worth waiting for — or whether you should consider other opportunities.