A job interview can be a nerve-racking time. Even though you may feel as if you are the only one under the microscope, the reality is this: an interview is an important time to see not only if you are the right fit for the job, but also if the job is the right fit for you.

Beyond pay and title, you should be keen on figuring out what company culture is like at a prospective workplace. Here are a few key indicators of a toxic work culture that you should be looking out for.

1. Your first employee interaction is not warm and welcoming.

Was it difficult to schedule the job interview because the hiring manager kept canceling or postponing? Is the receptionist hostile? Says Michelle Roccia, Executive Vice President at WinterWyman, "From the way you were greeted to the interactions you witness between employees, you should look for people that seem happy, energetic, friendly and comfortable."

2. Employee feedback is hardly discussed.

If employee feedback is talked about, it isn't discussed in a positive light. The best businesses know their employees have valuable thoughts and opinions. Ask your interviewer if the company encourages employee feedback--if she struggles to answer your question, take note.

3. The interviewer doesn't respect your time.

One easy way to determine how a company will feel about you in the long term is how it treats you in the short term. If your interviewer is unprepared or late, take that as a sign. Later on, if you accept the position, the company might not care about your wants and needs at all.

4. The interviewer is too eager.

If an interviewer seems really excited to have you join the team, make sure their company isn't completely desperate for more workers. A hiring manager at an already successful company with a great work culture should be asking you about your own experience and qualifications--you don't want them to accept just anyone for the position. Positive work cultures will be very discerning about who they bring in.

5. The company work setting is incredibly lacking.

Does the office feel too drab? Too stifling? Are all the cubicles quiet and the workers anti-social? Work isn't always rainbows and butterflies, but some work cultures are too stressful for employees to ever succeed.

A job is more than a salary and more than the prestige that comes with it. If you're after happiness and success, a toxic work environment will only stand in your way. 

Published on: Jan 24, 2020
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