6 Interview Red Flags You Might Be Missing
Congratulations! You crafted a winning resume using a creative resume template and avoided common cover letter mistakes to score a job interview with a company you’re excited about. But are you ready for the interview process ahead? We reached out to Jill Ozovek, a career coach who helps people interview for and land their dream jobs in New York City, to find out the right way to prepare. After talking with Jill, we’ve got her key things to think about as you learn more about working at the company, along with six interview red flags you can’t afford to miss.
1. The phone screen is totally off. Though they can be informal or quick, phone screens are a pretty important part of the interview process and can give you a real glimpse into how a company operates. Jill says, “If the person phone screening you constantly puts you on hold or gets distracted by someone coming in the room multiple times, that could be an immediate red flag.” She also told us, “If they seem frazzled and all over the place, or make multiple mistakes about you, your background or the job you’re interviewing for, then chances are that this isn’t a company you want to work for.” Note that if the company IS a good one to work for, they’ll show you early signs that it really is.
2. The team treats the administrative staff terribly. If all goes well with your phone screen, you’ll be bounding into the office shortly after. Since this probably is your first IRL experience with the company, pay super close attention to vibe, culture and how people treat one another. Jill asks, “How do the employees treat the receptionist? Do they acknowledge her or him? Do they address him/her by name? Ask him/her anything non-work-related like, “How was your kid’s recital?” If people breeze in through the doorway without so much as saying hello or seem discontent, keep that in mind to consider as part of the big picture later.
3. You’re unimpressed by your potential new boss. Meeting with your potential boss means the process is headed in right direction! Though this can be a nerve-wracking meeting, take it as an opportunity to evaluate the person you’ll be reporting to as much as they are you. Jill says to consider, “Are they prepared for the interview? Does it look like they read your resume?” And don’t forget to consider the compatibility factor too — do you like this person’s personality? Do you admire their experience and expertise? Do you feel good about working closely together or as part of the team? When looking for a gig that will help you meet all of your goals, be smart about selecting the person who’s best-positioned to help you get there. It matters!
4. Your interviewer doesn’t give you time to ask questions. Asking the right questions is just as critical as answering them, and any good company will care a ton about what you have in mind when looking for a new opportunity. The only thing worse than terrible answers to your questions is a situation where you don’t even get to ask them at all! Issue no forgiveness if your interview ends and you haven’t had a shot to bring up anything you’re wondering about. If time was truly an issue, your interviewer should at the very least apologize and give you an easy way to follow-up with them.
5. The Glassdoor reviews are consistently awful. Whether you do your research at the beginning of your job search or midway through, make note of the trends in what people talk about when the company is mentioned. Jill says, “If you see an outrageous Glassdoor review, it could be a one-off. However, it’s hard to argue with consistent, horrible reviews.” To get the whole picture consider, “Do people from the company speak at industry events? Have you seen employees at conferences? How do they present themselves?” If the answer isn’t positive, take that very seriously.
6. You feel uncomfortable. If you feel unreasonably uncomfortable at any point in the process, take that as a HUGE red flag. It doesn’t matter if it was joke that fell flat or an honest question met with a scoff — or even something even more severe. If you can’t be yourself or don’t feel quite right, start looking elsewhere ASAP.
Ultimately, whether you receive an offer from a company you no longer feel excited about or have a hard time tuning out the illogical voice in your head telling you “no” about a new job, refuse to settle. With so many cool companies hiring creative and smart people, you’re sure to find a job, team and culture that are truly a fab fit FOR YOU so long as you keep at it.
Have you ever had a horrible job interview experience? Tell us about it @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com