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How to spot the signs of a toxic work environment in a job interview

How to spot the signs of a toxic work environment in a job interview
/ Zia Soleil / Stone / Getty Images

Are you on the hunt for work and are currently in the interview process? Here are a few ways to tell if the job you’re applying for is a toxic work environment…

Unfortunately, there are many of us that have experienced what it’s like working in a toxic workplace. From belittling, arguing, and passive aggressive colleagues, working in an environment that feels a lot like a living nightmare is the last thing you could ever want to learn after being hired at a new job.

While it can be hard to judge from afar, there actually are a few hints you can pick up in an interview that will help you identify toxic workplace behaviour ahead of time.

If your interviewer bad-mouths past or current employees. Ever been in an interview and the interviewee says, “The last guy didn’t know what they were doing.” Yeah… That’s a hint that they’ll probably talk about you the same way also.

If your request to speak to other employees gets denied. Sometimes, the best way to understand the vibe in a work environment is to ask the employees themselves. That way, you can get a better understanding of what your day-to-day life will look like. If the employer refuses this, probably it is because they’re hiding something.

If the employer denies any of the company’s faults. No workplace is perfect and no business strategy is flawless. If your employer exclaims the company you're applying for is the best there ever was… They probably need to get a clue.

If the employees seem to be in a constant terrible mood. This part might be harder to identify now that most job interviews are taking place by video conferencing, but if you walk into a workplace and are able to immediately identify angry looking faces from across the room. Acknowledge the red flags, and run.

Have you ever been able to catch on to negative workplace behaviour prior to accepting a position? Let us know what your experience was like!

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