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Spotting a toxic work environment during interviews


The last thing you want to do is leave one toxic work environment for another. When looking for a job, often we overlook red flags and turn a blind eye to potentially alarming situations. Having a positive and healthy workplace is critical for your development. In this blog, we are going to be talking through some of the top things to keep an eye out for during your interview process.



Unpaid trial shift

Asking to complete pre-interview tasks or attend a trail is a completely normal way to see if you have the relevant skills and fit in with the team. While voluntary trial shifts aren’t a legal requirement there is some grey area, the law states that if you complete a days work you should be paid minimum wage for doing so. If your employer doesn’t do this they are taking advantage of you and may not be taking your time seriously. This type of behaviour doesn’t bode well for successful long term employment.


Being disrespectful about past employees

One of the biggest taboos in an interview. Talking negatively about past employees, this screams unprofessional and shows bitterness towards staff. Interviewers typically are putting their best foot forward when conducting interviews, so if they are being unprofessional now, who knows what they will be like later.


Stressful recruitment process

Hiring new employees can be a stressful time however this shouldn’t be displayed in your interview process. This is an exciting time and you shouldn’t be made to feel stressed. If your interviewer exhibits a bad attitude making you feel uncomfortable this could be an early warning sign to get out fast.


Conflict of interest with HR

It may not sound like a big issue but if your boss and your HR department are unprofessionally close, this could be a conflict of interest. This could become a problem if any issues occur with your manager which you would ordinarily discuss with the HR department. They should be completely neutral in order to show professionalism and good judgement.


Reasons for hiring

This is something to consider when being interviewed for a new position, how and why the position becomes available. Is there a high turnover of staff? Do people keep quitting or being fired? Why are they hiring in the first place? These are some of the questions you should think about. Some companies churn talent monthly, stuck in a toxic cycle of interviewing, hiring, training, repeat. Take a look at the business and establish if they are hiring for growth or for replacements. This could be a foreshadowing of how your time at the company will be.


Should any of the aforementioned signs crop up during your interview, you may want to think about whether you should be taking the job. Working in a toxic environment can be damaging and it’s important to spot the early signs before you commit. If you are looking for a new job check out our website and see how we can help you get instant access to the resources, training and skills you need to find your next position.


myjobs.coach | A Precision People Company | 0845 5700777

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