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Advice / Job Search / Interviewing

5 Signs You Should Turn Down a Job (That Everyone's Telling You to Ignore)

Have you ever told a friend or family member that you just weren’t sure about accepting a job, and the response you got was a chiding, “In this economy, you should be happy for whatever you get,” kind of answer? Probably, and chances are good that at least some people ignored their reservations, signed on the dotted line, and then realized they’d made a terrible mistake.

Sometimes it really is better to just say no. Some warning signs that you shouldn’t take that job include:

1. You Can’t Find Anything (or Anything Good) About the Company

It pays to do your homework when you’re job hunting, and if you keep turning up a consistent nothing on a company you’re considering, that’s a warning sign. A big, red, neon warning sign is if you’re looking at a company and all you see is controversy, negative reviews from customers and previous employees, and public notices for debt and lawsuits. In that case, just walk on by. You don’t need that kind of quicksand in your life.

2. The Company Seems Unprepared for You

Job interviews are serious business. It’s why you suit up, knot your tie, gather your references, and go through a practice run or two, so that when you walk through the door, you’re the best choice that interviewer has seen in weeks. If you go through all that prep work, but the person interviewing you for the company seems totally unprepared for you, then it might be a good idea to go somewhere where your professionalism would be rewarded instead.

3. No One Answers Your Questions

Some companies can get a nasty case of “ask someone else” when it comes to giving out information. Details of the job, what salary you’re going to be working for, who you’ll be working under, what hours you can expect, or even when you should expect a call back are all fended off by telling you to ask someone else. Then, when you ask that someone else, they tell you to ask a different person. If you can’t get straight answers now, just imagine working for this company. When you’re done imagining, apply somewhere else.

4. The Hard Sell

Nothing should send up a bigger warning sign than getting a hard sell on the company you’re already interviewing for, according to this source. You already applied, but if your interviewer is trying to convert you to the company store’s cult mentality, it’s a good idea to wonder just how great that business really is to work for. It’s usually a better idea not to find out first hand.

5. They Can’t Keep Anyone in This Position (for a Reason)

High turnover rate happens in a lot of industries, and for a lot of reasons. If the job is aimed at college students who use it as a stepping stone, there will be lots of here-today-gone-next-year employees. If the hours are long or the job difficult or the pay low, then it’s no wonder people drop it as soon as they find something better. Follow U.S. News’ advice, and ask whether or not the conditions of this position are what cause the turnover or if it’s a problem with the company and its management.

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