10 IT Job Interview Phrases To Make You Run - InformationWeek
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9/3/2014
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10 IT Job Interview Phrases To Make You Run

Wondering if the IT job you're interviewing for is a good fit? These 10 phrases suggest you should bolt as fast as you can.
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(Source: Nyttend)
(Source: Nyttend)

We get it. Times are tough. Many of you are still unemployed after the financial crisis, and more of you are underemployed. When someone offers you a job, you want to jump on it. But sometimes it really isn't worth it. The stress and pain of a bad job can take years off your life. That's why we put together this list of deal breakers, red flags, and head scratchers you need to look out for in the interview.

We all know that a job interview is sort of like a game of poker. The hiring manager is probing you for weaknesses, trying to figure out when you are bluffing, and hoping you will show all your "tells." A lot of us get so flustered that we forget that managers have some weaknesses they're hiding about the job, too -- low pay, high-stress environments, high turnover, an unhappy team. There's a lot you need to know before you take a job.

If you hate your job, it can literally kill you. A bad boss may actually increase your chance of a heart attack. Research shows that hating your job can lead to chronic stress, exhaustion, and emotional distress. Chronic stress can lead to obesity. It can cause high blood pressure, digestive problems, and fertility issues. And it can speed the aging process. Not surprisingly, all this adds up to an early grave.

That's not all. A bad working environment can actually affect your whole family. A Baylor study showed that a bad boss made an employee more likely to report stress in a marriage and more family conflict.

We can't prevent you from hating your job or keep you from ending up with a bad boss. But some folks get so caught up during the interview process that they forget to pay attention to a manager's own tells. They end up taking a job that was never right for them in the first place.

So we've compiled a list of a manager's biggest tipoffs that suggest you may want to run away as fast as possible. We've translated the manager-speak into plain English, so you can make a clear-headed decision. For all we know, you might like working 90-hour weeks or having weekly meetings in Siberia, so we're not going to tell you what to do. We just want you to make the best decision possible.

Read the list. Check out our translations, and tell us where we're spot on and where we're off. Tell us if you've ever missed these signs and been stuck in a bad job. And then add your own nightmare tipoffs to our list in the comments section.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2014 | 10:40:43 AM
Run Fast or Sign Up
@dave -- I've heard all of these and signed up anyway if I thought it was interesting enough and paid well. Sad, but true. It's a good collection of red flags, and notice how many of them require the candidate to reply in the affirmative, or weave a narrative of how you will measure up, solve the problem, or whatever. It all sounds silly since you don't have the job yet.

This is the one that always get my attention --  "We have some strong personalities here." I've learned that this means lots of people don't get along, lots of bullies, and they are not collaborative, to say the least.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 12:10:30 PM
Re: Run Fast or Sign Up
@jastroff- Yup, sometimes the red flags are worth ignoring. And sometimes drama can be fun for a few months. :)

You're also right that for me the "strong perosnalities" one is one of the worst. I'm a strong personality. I can handle it. But I'm not a jerk to my coworkers. I don't think people would describe me that way when talking about the team.
chis
IW Pick
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chis,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 4:21:32 PM
Great collection
A variation: We're looking for an "energetic" fill-in-the-blank. Translation: We're going to work you to death and then some!
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 4:24:43 PM
Re: Great collection
@chis- I like the "and then some." It sounds like they're going to use my body at work in a kind of Weekend at Bernies scenario.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 7:27:03 PM
Re: Great collection
@Chris: Did we work at the same job? LOL. I've had exactly that experience being the "energetic self-starter" who ultimately ended up convinced that my employer would expect me to keep working from beyond the grave. It was truly 24/7 365. If i had read this slideshow first, I would have definitely run the other way, but ah, live and learn I suppose.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 7:30:17 PM
Travel!
These are all spot on, the one about travel particularly hits home. In most of the job interviews I've had, travel has rarely come up. But after taking ONE particular job I have learned to ask how much travel is expected. On this particular job, they did make a point of telling me to expect travel. Which amounted to approximately two weeklong overseas trips per month. The frequent flier status and the chance to see the world were nice perks, but  the fact that this travel schedule happened to coincide with the first year of my marriage definitely was not.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 10:10:51 PM
Re: Great collection
@Susan- I suppose the fact that you are still here means you left before the worked you to death. But I bet the rest of your team were a bunch of stiffs. :)
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/5/2014 | 4:50:15 PM
Re: Great collection
thank so much for the tips david. I'm job hunting at this time and this will help me to sort out the bad job from the good ones.  Personally, I don't like to get paid in kittens, I don't like cats in the first place.  A while ago saw some job description which indicated that you have to be available on call which means you have no life.  You are right, finding the job with the best match with your personality is no easy matter. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
9/5/2014 | 5:16:44 PM
Re: Great collection
@Pedro- Good luck with the search. I hope you find a job that pays you in the animals you like and has regular hours. :)
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
9/6/2014 | 10:14:54 PM
Hey Junior .......

I really enjoyed this piece David, and when thinking of  tip offs for terrible jobs - this is my personal favorite.  

Jr. Anything ...Translation:   " We are too cheap to offer this as the position it is - you will be doing your bosses job at half the cost."

 

Got to love those Jr. listings !

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