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Toxic corporate culture: 5 hidden clues in a job interview

While preparing for a job interview, you may have already gained insight into the potential company culture that goes beyond the obvious. However, it's vital to read between the lines and watch for subtle warning signs that could play a significant role in your decision to accept or reject a position. Therefore, before making the final commitment to a job offer, it pays to consider the following signs of a potentially problematic company culture.

1. Verbal exchange of blows

While it's common to talk about competitors during an interview, the tone and nature of these conversations can say a lot about the prevailing culture. While healthy competition can be motivating, negative comments or even insults about competitors should be considered warning signs. Closely observe how other companies are talked about for clues about the company's attitude toward competition.

2. Beating around the bush

"Uh, yeah, well, that's a good question." If you're hearing phrases like this more often than getting clear answers, it could be a red flag! This may indicate that the company is struggling to foster a culture of open communication. Inadequate information sharing could also point to problems with internal communication.

3. Hello and Goodbye!

Respectful interaction shouldn't start only on the first day of work; it should begin when you first get to know someone. Pay attention to how you're greeted and how goodbyes are exchanged. Even small gestures often reflect the overall culture of the company.

4. The Disappearance of Good People

A remarkably high turnover of qualified employees leaving the company can indicate deeper issues within the company culture. If you hear about talented employees leaving on a regular basis, don't dismiss it as mere coincidence. This could be a clear sign of dissatisfaction and a problematic work environment.

5. Bananas Over Corporate Values:

Sure, free snacks and gym memberships are enticing. However, a healthy corporate culture should extend beyond these perks. A company with strong values should prioritize those values and not solely rely on material incentives.

Now It's Time to Listen!

In addition to being mindful of these warning signs, closely analyzing the job description and the company's embodied values is crucial. As the interview progresses, it's recommended that you listen attentively and identify key areas of focus. This approach will enable you to make a well-informed decision about whether the company culture aligns with your expectations and goals. Ultimately, it's about ensuring you feel comfortable and at ease.