Spot a Toxic Workplace—Before Accepting the Job…

When you work in a toxic workplace, the signs can be easy to recognize. Yelling and bullying, lots of gossip, and unsustainable workloads are a few common hallmarks. But identifying toxicity in an organization you don’t yet work for can prove to be tricky. Here are three red flags to watch out for when you’re applying and interviewing for a new job.

A bad interview process. Poor communication from recruiters, ghosting, and endless interviews are a few signals that there may be something broken in the company you’re applying to. Other signs include being inflexible on interview dates and times and pressuring candidates to accept offers the day of.

What current employees say (and don’t). Listen carefully to the responses current employees give when you ask questions about the role, the specific team you’d be joining, and the overall organization. Watch out for vague or coded answers—and, of course, dodged questions. Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to get more clarity.

High turnover. An abundance of job openings could be a sign of growth, but it could also suggest that the company struggles to retain its employees. Track which roles are being posted and how often. If you notice the same roles going up regularly, that can be another red flag that the company’s culture is toxic.

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