Five Signs You’re Interviewing at a Toxic Company
With how stressful interviews can be, most candidates spend hours, or days, combing over their responses and trying to convince themselves that they left a good impression on the recruiter. They get so caught up trying to impress that they never stop to ask themselves the most important question of all: Did the recruiter leave a good impression on me?
Yes, in the highly competitive job market, it seems crazy that candidates would turn down offers from willing companies. But if you notice any of these red flags during your interview (or during your pre-interview research), it could be a sign that you’d be better off looking elsewhere for your dream job.
1. They Badmouth Others
We all know not to badmouth previous employers during job interviews—a lesson that the recruiters themselves should follow. While it can be fun to hear dirt on previous employees, hiring managers that share gossip during candidate interviews indicate a workplace culture where negativity is the norm. If this comes up, try not to engage—and maybe think twice about whether you’ll thrive in this type of environment.
2. They Can’t Keep Employees
Naturally, a revolving door of employees is an indicator that things may not be as great as the company would have you believe. Of course, employees leave jobs for any number of reasons, but when it becomes a chronic issue, it reflects a systematic problem with the company. Maybe the management is poor or the job environment is stressful. If you notice that certain companies keep popping up on your LinkedIn networks with open positions that they can’t seem to fill, you may want to steer clear.
3. They Have Bad Online Reviews
Take them with a grain of salt, but bad online reviews of a company can be a big indicator of problems behind the scenes. Listen to what people are saying and try to identify patterns. If 90 percent of the negative reviews are from the past 12 months, it could be a sign that workers are frustrated with a recent change in management. Form your own opinions during the interview, but don’t be surprised if these negative reviews turn out to be true.
4. Their Employees Seem Stressed or Overworked
How do the workers look when you go in for your interview? Do people look happy? Is there tension in the air? Seeing an office full of stressed out workers should make you think twice about applying. This applies to the hiring executives themselves and any would-be bosses you come across. Do they seem curt, disorganized, or outright rude? Or are they welcoming and friendly? Try to get a sense of the workplace culture, and if possible, speak to current employees and get their opinions about what it’s like to clock in each day.
5. The Interview Was Suspiciously Short/Long
Of course, there’s no rule about how long interviews have to be. But if your interview seemed suspiciously short (they really offered you a job after only 10 minutes?) or if it was suspiciously long (you’re four weeks out and they’re still running your résumé up the corporate ladder), it might be cause for concern.
Companies that hire right out of the gate without doing their research are likely desperate for candidates. On the other hand, companies that prolong the hiring process beyond what seems normal could have messy and disorganized hiring workflows. Research by Glassdoor found that the average length of the job interview process in the U.S. was 23 days. Be wary if the company seems overeager or dismissive.
Have you noticed any of these red flags during your job hunt? Once you start looking for them, they’re more common than you might think. Keep an eye and an ear out for these “between the lines” statements that indicate an unprofessional work environment. And if you’re a business struggling to land candidates amidst all these potential pitfalls, we encourage you to contact Urgenci for an assessment of your hiring practices.