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7 Red Flags To Look Out For During a Software Developer Interview

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  • Last Updated : 28 Aug, 2021
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Many of you would’ve thought that after getting an interview opportunity, all you need to do is perform well in the interview, right…?? Yes, somehow true as well, but performing well in the interview and securing the job opportunity is not sufficient alone, especially if we talk about it from the long-term career perspective. You must need to know if the particular company is worth working for or not. Or you need to identify if the work responsibilities associated with the job role for which you’re interviewing align with your career goals or not.  


There are various red flags that the candidates usually ignore noticing during the interviews and then they realized it later when it becomes a bit late. While going out for interviews, you should remember that the interview process is not just only meant for showcasing your skills & knowledge to the recruiters but it allows you to know more about the company and identify whether this particular company/job would be a perfect fit for you or not.  

Here, in this article, we’re going to discuss some of the major red flags that you must look out for during a Software Developer interview:

1. The Interviewer Seems Uninterested During the Interview

If you find the interviewer not interested in the conversation or not paying the required attention then yes, chances are more it can be the red flag. There could be any of the reasons behind it such as the recruiters are not hiring the candidates considering the long-term plannings, or there can be something related to the company’s unsatisfactory work culture & environment, or any other. On contrary, it can be possible that the interviewer appears to be less interested as he has already dealt with a good number of candidates before you. Still, whatever the situation is, you’re recommended to not ignore this red flag in your upcoming interviews and the least you can & you should expect from the interviewer is proper attention and a worthwhile two-way conversation.

2. The Interviewer Has Not Enough Clarity About the Offered Job Role

Moving further, the scenario where any of the interviewers (including Technical Interviewer and HR) isn’t being able to clearly define the common aspects of the job role, for which you’re being interviewed, such as day-to-day work responsibilities, how that particular role affects the company‚Äôs core business, etc. will also fall under the red flag category. Such a situation can lead to any of the future possibilities like after joining the company you’d be required to do some irrelevant or worthless work or you would be required to work for long hours (more than the regular working hours) frequently, and many others. Also, if the interviewer is himself not aware of the details of a particular role then how would he be able to assess the candidates’ skills to identify if the candidate is a perfect fit or not for the role.

3. If There is Not Any Technical Interview Round

In a Software Developer or Software Engineer Interview, if there is not having any discussion about technical skills or not a single technical interview round then most probably it would be a red flag. For instance, if you’re interviewing for an SDE role, then the interviewer is expected to assess your tech skills like programming knowledge, data structures & algorithms, operating systems, etc. The absence of any technical skills assessment during the interview would only signify that it is not necessary for that particular role which is something contradicting considering the role for which you’re applying is core technical (SDE). There can be a case where the interviewer is not focusing on the tech skills of the candidates as the company will teach these skills on its own to the selected candidates but still at least to assess problem-solving skills or programming ability of the candidate, a technical round is a must.  

4. The Interviewer is Not Open for any Solution Other than the One He Knows!

This is something very crucial! Let’s understand it with an example – suppose, during a tech interview, you’re given a programming problem. And you come up with an optimal solution for it within the given timespan. But…the approach is slightly different from the one the interviewer is comfortable with. Now, if the interviewer accepts your solution as well as lets you know his approach as well then everything is fine. But if the interviewer strictly discards your solution (even though it is correct) without giving any justified reason then it is a warning sign for you to rethink whether the company is the right fit for you or not. It shows that in the future as well (after joining the company) you may not get the required flexibility while working on a problem/project.

5. If You Find that Company Has No or Very Few Old Employees

Now, you must be thinking that how a company with no older employees can be a red flag for the candidates, right…?? Okay, so there can be two scenarios: first, if the company is relatively new or is the latest startup then obviously the workforce can’t be much older and it can’t be considered as the red flag either. But, the second scenario is if the company exists for a long time but still has very few old employees then it can lead to various possibilities like employees leaving frequently due to substandard working conditions, terrible management, not-so-entertaining payscale, or any other reason. Hence, you all are recommended to look out for this parameter also in your upcoming tech interviews.  

6. If Company’s Vision/Workflow Doesn’t Align With Your Career Goals

One can’t actually put this parameter directly into the red flag category as every company has its own vision & workflow. But, what a candidate needs to understand is that if the company doesn’t involve such a workflow or tech practices that you particularly need to build & enhance your skills then this misalignment must not be ignored as it can surely be a red flag for your career prospects. For example – if you join a company as a software developer then you would expect that you will be writing codes, applying the computer science principles in the real world, making yourself familiar with the development tools, etc. But what if the company works on an outdated tool or technology which will not allow you to grow as an individual or enhance your skills, is that company worth it?

7. Recruiter Being Evasive While Discussing Salary & Other Such Things

Furthermore, if you find the recruiter being evasive while discussing the salary or other such things like growth opportunities, learning exposure, etc. then it would also be a soft warning for you. In the professional world, the recruiters expect you to be professional and honest towards the company and so, you can also expect the same from them. You all are strongly recommended to look out for such a company that values your time, talent, and work. However, especially the freshers should also remember to not take it otherwise and make the final decision after assessing the entire situation. For instance, if you find out that the company is offering you a slightly lesser salary package but the learning & growth opportunities there seem to be exceptional then of course it won’t be a red flag.

So, these are some prominent red flags that you must look out for during a tech interview to make better decisions for your career. Also, you all are strongly recommended to not decline any job opportunity immediately after finding even a single red flag during the interview instead you need to analyze how will it impact your career, can it be resolved, etc. before making the final decision!

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