The LLoyd blog: hidden talent.


Pay Close Attention to What the Interviewer Says During Your Interview



Looking for a job can be both a positive and stressful experience.  At Lloyd, we are always being asked, what are some good “tells” during an interview to know if the position you are interviewing for is truly a good one.

We encourage candidates to keep your eyes open and be aware of potential red flags during the conversation. While most employers have good intentions, there are some who will say or do things that should make job candidates think twice about accepting an offer. Let’s explore some of the warning signs to be aware of when considering a job offer.

These phrases during your interview should make you think twice or at least dig a little deeper into the conversation…

  • We’re looking for someone who is not a clock watcher.”

This could be a sign that the company doesn’t respect work-life balance. If an employer emphasizes long hours over quality work, it may not be the right fit for you.

  • “We’re a start-up, so things can be a little chaotic.”

While it’s true that start-ups can be exciting and dynamic, this statement can also be a warning sign. It could mean that the company is disorganized and lacks structure, which could lead to frustration and burnout. It’s always good to have the employer outline a leadership hierarchy so you know who is in charge and who making decisions that will directly affect you.

  • “We need someone who can hit the ground running.”

This phrase can be a red flag because it may mean that the company doesn’t have a proper onboarding process. If they expect you to jump in without proper training, it could lead to stress and mistakes. Ask how you will learn your duties and who is going to be showing you what to do both at the beginning and once you are in the role.

  • We place a priority on benefits and company perks and don’t make it all about salary.”

While benefits are important, they may not be enough to make up for a low salary. Make sure to research the market rate for your position and don’t settle for less.  Go in knowing your monetary value and consider if the employer is trying to distract you by using benefits and trendy perks to take the focus off of compensation.

  • “We want our team n the office.  The pandemic is over and we have things to accomplish!”

The last few years have shown that many jobs can be done (and done well) remotely, and companies that don’t offer this option may be behind the times. If the inability to work from home or at least work hybrid is a dealbreaker for you, make sure to ask about the company’s policies and potential flexibility during the interview process. For example are there possibilities to change your schedule once you have a quarter of performance under your belt?  Some companies have started to mandate a full return to in-office; others are showing some flexibility – it is certainly worth knowing where you prospective employer stands on this subject.

  • “We’re a family here.”

While it’s important to work in a supportive environment, this phrase can be a warning sign of an unhealthy work culture. It could mean that the company expects you to put work before your personal life, or that they discourage dissenting opinions.

  • “You’ll be working in what is often called a high-pressure environment.”

The interviewer could be telling you that the company values productivity over employee wellbeing. If you’re not comfortable working in a high-pressure environment, it’s best to look for a different job. If you are being told about pressure upfront, you should be someone who is not a naturally anxious person because you are likely to get stressed out and they are telling you so!  Of course, there are others who find that high pressure is adrenaline building and say they do their best work under pressure.  Know which one you are.

  • “We’ve had a lot of people come and go in this role – now we are looking to be selective and not settle for the wrong hire.”

This means you should be equally selective! Why is this a revolving door position?  Ask the interviewer where they think they made wrong hiring decisions in the past and what has since changed.



We are not trying to scare you – just make you more mindful of your decision. These phrases are not indicative of bad jobs or even bad companies, but you owe it to yourself to fully understand the organization, it’s culture and their expectations of you.  Too often candidates respond passively to an interview – they let the interviewer pitch them without actually digging a little deeper.  It is perfectly permissible to establish a dialogue where you ask questions too.  It is better to be aware at the onset than deal with new job remorse later on.



You can uncover some of the difficulties of a role without jeopardizing a potential offer by saying things like:

  • What are some of the top challenges of this particular role that have made past hires not perform as expected or desired?
  • Tell me some of the obstacles I am likely to encounter in trying to perform my job at the highest level.
  • What kind of support can I expect to help me succeed?
  • As a company, how does the organization address problem solving?
  • Can you please outline the onboarding process for me and how both you and I will know if I am meeting your performance standards?
  • How does the company define success? Do you use metrics?  How are employees evaluated?
  • What is the word(s) that employees use to best define the company’s overall culture?



Asking thoughtful questions during the interview process can help you gain insight into the company, the position, and what to expect if you accept the job offer.

Keep these statistics from  and in mind as you interview:

  • On average, it takes 24 days to go through the hiring and interview process to get the job.
  • An average job interview lasts between 40 to 90 minutes.
  • The candidate, on average, has to undergo 2 to 3 interviews to get the job.
  • 33% of employers say know if they will hire the candidate in the first 90 seconds of the interview. First impressions matter – that includes body language and personal demeanor.
  • Employers take note…54% of candidates with a positive interview experience are ready to accept the offer.


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