How to Know if This is a Bad Place to Work

John Krautzel
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Whether you're talking to a recruiter or interviewing for a job opening, you have a limited window of time to decide whether you're looking at a fantastic opportunity or a bad work environment. How do you know if a job opportunity is truly worth your while? Watch out for these five warning signs that sealing the deal might be a bad idea.

1. The Company's Recruiter Is Looking for Cheap Talent

If a recruiter comes to you with an opportunity, but the first thing he asks about is your salary, tread with caution. The company he's representing may be unwilling to pay a market rate, and asking about your current salary acts as a screening tool to find candidates who are willing to accept cheap wages. If a recruiter tries to shift the discussion to benefits, work environment and company culture, be sure to get a direct answer about potential salary before taking another step.

2. There Is a High Turnover Rate

During the interview and recruiting process, ask all workers and managers you come across how long they've been working for the company. Unless you're interviewing for a position at a startup, start looking at the company more carefully if virtually everyone you meet is new. Workers constantly jumping ship can indicate a poor work environment. If you're unsure, look the company up online to see what previous employees have to say about it.

3. The Office Culture Is Gloomy

Pay attention to the other employees at the workplace. Do you hear workers chatting or laughing? Do they seem friendly and happy? If employees seem stressed, cold and generally miserable, watch out. You should also pay attention to the physical work environment. If desk space is too cramped and the area is dark and dreary, ask yourself whether you truly see yourself enjoying working there.

4. Your Job Responsibilities Are Vague

If job expectations are unclear, you can have no idea how to be successful in the position, making professional growth next to impossible in that work environment. Plus, a lack of clear responsibilities is sure to lead to frustration and stress down the road.

5. The Employer Has Poor Communication

Most companies do their best to be respectful and professional to potential employees, which means communicating with you in a timely manner and promptly responding to your messages. If the employer communicates sluggishly without any apology or explanation for the delay, steer clear of the company. Employers who treat their candidates without respect are likely to do so with their employees as well.

If you're considering whether to apply for job opening or accept an offer, watch out for these warning signs of a bad place to work. A careful eye and some research are a must if you want to avoid getting stuck with a low salary or bad work environment.

Photo courtesy of Imagerymajestic at


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  • Satish B.
    Satish B.

    Irrelevant. If it's a toxic work place, they won't hire you if you appear to be anywhere near positive.

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