Save Yourself Certain Misery...How to Spot a Toxic Employer

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read

You’ve decided to look for other work opportunities to grow your experience and career. While changing jobs can offer you big benefits like new challenges and better compensation, tread carefully. You don’t want to make a move only to find your new employer is an unreasonable bear. 

Toxic workplaces are unhealthy sources of avoidable stress. You need to make sure you watch for signs during your job search. When you’re looking for a new position, here are surefire ways to spot a toxic employer. 

Bad Online Reviews

Before you send in your application, look through some employee reviews on popular websites. While one disgruntled comment shouldn’t give you pause, consistent mentions of a toxic workplace, bad managers, and stressful working conditions are red flags to pay attention to. If current and past employees warn you away, listen to them. 

Rampant Turnover

Once you’re in the interview, inquire about the average employee tenure. Ask how long the person you’re interviewing has been with the company and how long the employee was in the position before you worked there. Ask the same question about your potential co-workers and direct manager. If everyone is relatively new, that’s not a good sign. Why aren’t people sticking around?

Hostile or Aloof Treatment

The way you’re handled during the interview process tells you a lot about the company’s culture. Note if they assign you a time for the interview instead of asking you when would be convenient. Proceed with caution if the interviewer is short with you, answers your questions vaguely, or seems impatient. If they act like they’re doing you a favor by interviewing you, look for a different company that recognizes your value. 

Body Language

In-person interviews give you a chance to see the office and get a read on other employees. Does the interviewer seem excited and engaged? Or are they dull, like they’re just going through the motions? 

Ask to use the bathroom and walk through the office on your own. Do people look happy? Is the vibe a team-oriented atmosphere, or do people seem beat down and scared? 

Other Signs

Like, literally. Are there signs stating rules all over the place? “Wash your dishes”, “Don’t leave papers here”, “Make sure to lock the doors before you leave”. If so, this could be a signal that they treat employees like children. Plus, the company may also believe in micromanagement. Is that what you want to sign on for? No, it’s not. 

What’s Not Said

If the people you encounter seem too busy, not knowledgeable enough, or just not interested in answering your questions, take that as a sign of things to come. If they can’t carve out time for you before you’re hired, how will you be treated once you’re an employee? 

In addition, listen to your gut. If something seems off during the interview, or if you don’t vibe with your potential team or the manager isn’t impressive, don’t discount those feelings. They could end up saving you from a disastrous career move. 

There are tons of great companies out there offering a positive work culture and interesting projects. If you’ve decided to take the plunge into a new position, make sure you watch for red warning flags during the application and interview process. These can end up saving you lots of wasted time and misery. 

Do you want help navigating your job search? Talent Experts offers an authentic, personal approach to helping our talent pool find the jobs of their dreams. Reach out today to let us find a perfect fit for your qualifications and goals. 

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