The best time to find out about a potential employer’s work environment is before and during the interview. You don’t want to accept a job only to discover that your workplace is miserable. While interviewing for a job, you may be focused on impressing the hiring manager(s) but you should also be taking the time to get an idea of the atmosphere. Read on for some ways to easily determine whether or not a work environment will be toxic.
Hiring Manager is Unprofessional
A big red flag during the interview is a hiring manager that is rude, dismissive or hostile. If a hiring manager can’t be polite and professional during the job interview, he or she certainly won’t be once you’re an employee. Does the hiring manager start the interview on time? Do they keep the questions professional? Do they avoid speaking badly of other employees/former employees? Are they willing to take to time to answer your questions? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it could be a sign of bad things to come should you take the job.
Bad Employee Attitudes
You can learn a lot just by observing other employees. If most or all seem nervous, stressed, or generally unhappy it’s probably due to a negative work environment. Even more alarming is when you are kept isolated from other employees so that you have no opportunity to interact with people at the company. A good company should encourage you to meet with their employees and ask them questions about their work.
Usually large turnover rates aren’t noticeable until you start working at an organization, but you can find out about turnover by asking the hiring manager a few questions. First, why did the last person that held the position leave? How long did he or she stay at the job? Do they have statistics on their turnover rates? You may also casually ask other people you meet, such as the receptionist or other interviewers, how long they have been at the company. If employees are constantly leaving a company, you don’t want to work for it.
Vague Job Description and Interview Answers
If the job description isn’t clear about responsibilities, it’s a sign the company isn’t organized and/or overworks employees with added duties. Another bad sign is evasiveness when asked specific questions about company culture or job expectations. You deserve a clear idea of what is expected of you before you start work.
Negative Online Employer Reviews
Sites like Indeed and Glassdoor offer the ability of employees and former employees to rate a company. One or two reviews isn’t enough to go on, but if there are many more bad reviews (with specific reasons) then it may be time to rethink your application.
Just as an employer is assessing your qualifications, you should be sizing them up. Taking the time to interview the interviewer, talk to other employees, and research online can make a huge difference in your career satisfaction.