Welcome to the College Prep Confidential Podcast
April 18, 2022

3 Interview Red Flags

Welcome to the hottest job market in recorded history. That means big money and big perks for college students looking for jobs. Before you accept a job or take an interview, avoid any company that does these 3 interview red flags like the plague.

Welcome to the hottest job market in recorded history. That means big money and big perks for college students looking for jobs.

Before you accept a job or take an interview, avoid any company that does these 3 interview red flags like the plague.


Yesssss sir!

I know college bound students as well as college students looking at internships or looking for full time jobs after college have the job market at the top of their mind.

Which is why I’ve got Episode 42 this week, we’re talking about 3 Interview Red Flags. 

It’s April 2022 as I record this, so let’s start there.

As of April 2022, we are in THE hottest job market in recorded history. Salaries are skyrocketing, and companies are bending over backwards to get qualified, or even semi-qualified people in the door.


Because there’s a worker shortage in every field imaginable. Since Covid came and went, some people lost their motivation. Others found a new identity and purpose, so they’re quitting their crappy jobs in record numbers. And the ones left on the job…some of them just phone it in, barely giving any effort.

So what does this mean for you, the job seeker. Wellllll, I’ve got to go back to Episode 1, our pilot on the College Prep Confidential show, and remind you…You Are the Prize.

As a qualified job seeker with a college degree or working on a college degree, you are the beautiful girl with big breasts and perfect skin. You are the chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. You are the 4 carat VVS diamond that everybody drools over. Now, I’ll record another episode again on interviewing tips, but this episode deals with red flags. When I say red flags, I mean hiring managers, recruiters, and companies interviewing. I have two purposes for this  episode

  1. Protect college students from having their time wasted in the interview process
  2. Help college students avoid going into shady companies

With that said, let’s get to it, with 3 Interview Red Flags.

Interview Red Flag Numero Uno…Excessive Buzzwords in the job description. Oh my God, if I had a dollar for every horror story I’ve heard with candidates either interviewing or working for a buzzword company, I’d have a mansion on the ocean.

Start by looking at the job description.  Does the company use excessive buzzwords with little to no solid detail about role requirements?  If the answer is yes, you can bet that this job will be a haze of confusion and doublespeak.  Do they slyly add additional job requirements which have no business being mentioned as part of your role?  If so, you can bet you will be doing grunt work and eating turds for little to no pay increase.  Case in point, a programmer position.  Do they have you monitoring servers and blending your role in with I.T.?  Stand clear from this job.  A programmer should not be required to monitor servers, handle uptime, and do anything with hardware.  They should be writing code.

If you see this type of skullduggery on a job description, one of two things is certain:

  1. The hiring manager is incompetent and unable to distinguish between roles
  2. The hiring manager is a snake who is trying to get you to do two jobs for one salary.  

Both jobs in the examples above should be dismissed with extreme prejudice.  If a hiring manager is incompetent with something as simple as a job description, you can bet your ass the dirty laundry hiding underneath the surface is exponentially worse.  If a hiring manager is trying to get you to do two jobs for one salary, that is a scam and should be treated as such.  The more you do outside your standard job role, the more you should get paid.  

Interview Red Flag Number Two…Endless time for a hiring manager to get back to you.

Assume you crushed your interview.  You could tell by body language and response that you nailed the interview, you have what it takes, and you would be an ideal candidate for a job.  Next, assume that you followed up after your interview.  Also assume that they had a few other candidates they interviewed which has been completed for a few weeks.  What the hell is taking so long to make a decision?  Allow me to present the possible scenarios:

  • The hiring manager is incompetent and has not finalize the paperwork to get you into the job
  • The hiring manager is a peon who is waiting for approval from management. Management is moving at the speed of molasses.  
  • They hired somebody and did not tell the other candidates

For the first two scenarios, this behavior is atrocious and unforgivable.  You should not have to wait for anybody.  The process should be swift and clear.  There is a reliable marker to use with this process.  It's used when a business is going to be bought by another business.  A friend in Mergers and Acquisitions told me this.  The time it takes to get a deal done is inversely proportional to the probability the deal is going to happen.  Put simply, the faster the process moves forward, the higher the chance the deal is going to get done.  In your case, the higher chance you will get hired.  The longer it drags on, the more the probability drops the deal falls through.

If the process drags on for more than two weeks, I'd start moving on and looking elsewhere.  Your time should not be wasted, and this is a huge warning sign if it is. 

And last but not least, Interview Red Flag Number Three…Unprepared interviewers. I’ll start this one with a story…Years back, I’m interviewing for a Fortune 500 company who I shall leave anonymous for legality sake. Anyway, I show up for a job that pays 6 figures. The receptionist walks me down to the interview room and tells me the first interviewer will be here shortly. I’m sitting in there for 12 minutes past the interview start time and the first putz shows up. Now this guy is spilling his coffee and he forgets to bring my resume to the room. So he fumbles back out of his chair and walks all the way down to his office to go get the printout. Now he comes back to the room to start the interview, and the first question he asks me is, I’m sorry, I didn’t get a chance to look over your resume. So, what is your current role?

Now, folks, I want to stop here and warn you…The Best a company will ever treat you is at the interview stage. They need talent to survive, and so this works just like a first date. Everybody, well, almost everybody tries to impress the other party by dressing nice, acting nice, and putting their best behaviors forward. So imagine, if you will, a guy who doesn’t even read your resume and study your background, gets put on the front lines to interview you. What does that say about this company?

Here are a few signs of an unprepared interview team.

They’re late. They don’t know your background. They can’t describe the role you’re applying for in detail. They can’t describe how the role helps advance the company. They stutter and stumble over interview questions. Watch all these behaviors carefully my friends. And if you spot them, run, don’t walk, for the nearest exit.

So to sum up, our 3 interview red flags are:

  1. Excessive Buzzwords in the job description
  2. A job takes weeks to get back to you after an interview
  3. Unprepared interviewers

Stay alert my friends, the career you save may be your own.

We covered a lot in this episode. And I want to help you crush college prep. So I put together a list of expert resources for you. Resources like Test prep, financial aid, and personal coaching. Go to cpcshow.com. That's c-p-c-show.com. If you liked this episode, why don’t you subscribe to stay up to date on a treasure chest of college prep resources and tips? Also, if you enjoyed prior episodes, I’d love it if you gave us a rating on iTunes. Thank you for listening.