Why You Should Think Twice before Accepting an Offer with a Competing Company

Most of us have had a job that feels more like we're spinning our wheels than moving up the career ladder. Maybe it’s the company, or a boss we don’t work well with, or even the industry that's not a good fit. While staying in a so-called dead-end job longer than necessary is a mistake most of us want to avoid, experts say hopping to another job that isn’t right either could lead to career suicide.

Even if you're unemployed and desperate for cash, experts with www.thestreet.com and Career Addict say you should watch out for these warning signs that accepting a job offer could end in disaster.

1. The offer is too good to be true

If it seems too good to be true, it just might be, says Joe Weinlick, vice president of marketing at career network, Beyond.com. “It might be a phenomenal opportunity. But you may be hearing the story they tell people outside the company. Dig a little deeper before you make your decision,” Weinlick says.

2. The interviewer insulted previous or current employees

“It’s perfectly acceptable for an interviewer to share information about how the company is structured, or even the challenges and politics that exist, but think twice about the opportunity if they openly insult previous or current employees,” Weinlick says.

3. High turnover

There is a probably a reason employees join and leave an organization quickly and often. Think twice before joining a company that appears to be unable to retain its employees.

4. Interviewers don't respect your time

This includes both coming prepared to the interview (taking the time to read your resume and cover letter) as well as giving you the attention you deserve during your meeting, says Julia Missaggia, director of talent at Brownstein Group in Philadelphia.

“The hiring process is an expensive endeavor and an investment to the company, and should be treated as such,” Missaggia says. “Your treatment during the hiring process is indicative of how you’ll be treated as an employee.”

5. Interviewers are not all on the same page about the job description

If the hiring team is not consistent with the information they’re putting out to prospective employees, it could signal a lack of communication internally, or that the hiring team hasn’t done a sufficient job building out the position, Missaggia says.

“You should leave your interview with a clear idea of how your job performance will be measured and your key responsibilities in the first few months on the job,” she says.

6. Interviewers lack transparency about organizational challenges they face

Companies should be forthright about where they stand financially, and should be willing to talk about any major challenges, Missaggia says.

Hiring managers should also be able to share a clear vision for the company and the position.

7. You’re not excited about the offer

Trust your instincts, and don’t compromise yourself. Accepting a job offer is a two-way street, Missaggia explains.

“If the hiring team does not come back to you with an offer package that meets your prerequisites, it may indicate a lack of respect for employees. They should be willing to hear you out and meet you somewhere in the middle, and if not, you owe it to yourself to continue searching for a company that truly values its employees.”

8. They want to hire you right away, without any reference checks

Reference checks are an integral step in the due diligence process. If a company is willing to hire you without taking the time to get feedback from former employers, it shows they may have a tendency to make quick, rash decisions, Missaggia says.

9. You don't think you fit in with the company culture

An interview is a preview of what your life could be like at the company, eight hours a day, five days a week, Missaggia says. Pay close attention to the attitudes and interactions you experience with employees, as well as the overall vibe of the workplace environment, both of which can signal current employees’ sentiments about the company.

10. The job has been advertised for a while

If you notice the same job posting for a long period of time or multiple times over a period of time, that could mean a few things, all of which are negative. This could indicate the company doesn't know what they're looking for or their expectations are unrealistic. Either way, it’s probably not a good sign.

No matter how desperate you are, now is not the time to be impulsive. Take a moment to research the company and the position you are applying for and make sure the job is the best fit for both you and the company. Selecting a job that doesn’t fit can set your career back even further.

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