HOW TO IDENTIFY A TOXIC WORK CULTURE

The next time you go on a job interview, don’t let the hiring manager be the only person asking the questions. By asking key questions, candidates can determine whether the clinic has a toxic environment and whether it’s the right place for you to work.

So, what questions should you ask? Here are some suggestions from Forbes, The Muse and Top Resume:

  1. What do you like about working here?
  2. What are your clinic’s core values?
  3. What happens to employees who make mistakes?
  4. When was the last time something negative happened here, like a layoff?
  5. What is your leadership style?
  6. What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
  7. What attributes does someone need to have in order to be successful in this position?
  8. What are the biggest challenges that someone in this position would face?
  9. Is this a new role or will I be taking over for an employee who’s leaving?
  10. What are the most important things you’d like to see someone accomplish in the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job?
  11. What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?
  12. What’s one challenge you occasionally or regularly face in your job?
  13. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  14. How would you describe the work environment here—is the work typically more collaborative or more independent?
  15. How does the team form and maintain strong bonds?
  16. Does anyone at the company or on this team get together socially?
  17. What’s different about working here compared to anywhere else you have worked?

There are some red flags to listen for with the interviewer’s answers. Pay attention to whether the manager is reluctant to let you ask questions, hesitates to answer your questions, or seems negative or ingenuine while answering. An awkward pause can indicate the interviewer doesn’t have an answer or isn’t sure about the right thing to say, while body language can fill in the blanks of what isn’t said at all.

Here are some other non-verbal clues to help you determine whether a work culture is in place:  

  • Does the interview sound scripted, or does it feel like a natural conversation?
  • Does the interviewer smile while listening to your answers or answering your questions?
  • Does the hiring manager make eye contact while answering your questions?
  • Does the interviewer appear guarded or transparent with their answers?
  • How are staff members communicating with each other in the clinic?
  • Do employees seem to be enjoying their work?
  • What is your gut feeling after you’ve left the interview?

Make sure to do your research about the company before the interview. In addition to learning about the practice and the lead physician, check employee and patient reviews online. It is acceptable to ask about negative reviews during the interview but remember you can’t always believe what you read.

Do you have questions about what you should ask during an interview? Give me a call and I’ll talk you through those and let you know why my team has a 93 percent success rate in presenting qualified candidates to employers.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Audette

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