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How To Spot A Toxic Culture Before You Take The Job— By Liz Ryan (Forbes HR Contributor)

Find below an interesting article by Liz Ryan on spotting toxic cultures.
An interviewing process is a bi-directional activity for parties to determine if they are a good fit.
A toxic culture makes work a huge challenge. The insightful article below provides information on spotting such cultures.
Enjoy! SFER Admin

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You have to pay close attention on a job interview, because if you get into the wrong company you’ll be stuck. You don’t want to take a new job and then realize within a few weeks that you have to start job-hunting again.

That’s incredibly stressful, and you’ll have another problem in that case as well because you’ll have to explain to employers why you just took a new job and you’re already job-hunting.

Either that, or you’ll have to hide the fact that you’re working. What a pain in the neck!

If you can hold out for a reasonably healthy culture in your next company, you will be glad you did.

We are trained to go to a job interview and perform like a circus dog in a tutu. We forget that a job interview is not an audition.

The people who interview you are picking a new employee, and you are picking a new employer. You can’t entrust your brand and your time and energy to just anyone. Not everyone deserves your talents!

Here are ten signs to watch out for — signs of an unhealthy culture that will show up during the hiring process.

When you spot these signs it means there are cultural problems in the company that’s interviewing you. Don’t overlook these red flags!

1. They schedule you for an interview but when you arrive, they weren’t expecting you and everybody is confused.

2. They reach out to you when they first get your resume or application, but then there are major delays and obstacles to surmount before you can get an interview — and no one tells you what the process looks like as you step into it. They expect you to do whatever they ask you to do (take a test, submit a writing sample, complete a questionnaire) — and do it fast!

3. You interview with a firm but you can’t get a read on the situation. You can’t figure out who’s in charge, who your manager would be if you take the job or what the job is all about. Nobody seems to know!

4. They call you on the phone or email you and immediately demand to know your past and/or present salary. That’s a huge red flag.

5. You have one interview and it goes great. Then they go radio silent. Weeks go by. One day they contact you again like it’s only been a minute since you spoke. They want you to interview again but there’s no apology for the silence or the delay. That’s not good!

6. During your interview process, things keep changing. The cast of characters is in constant flux and it looks like the company strategy is in flux, too. If you are going to step into a volatile situation, take care of yourself. Get an employment contract. It’s what any consultant would do — and you are a consultant now, yourself.

7. Your interview process is like a roller coaster with sudden drops and twists. One minute you’re sure you are going to get the job. Everybody is excited to see you when you show up. The next time they see you,they ignore you. What’s going on? There’s an energetic disturbance in the company — that much is clear.

8. Your hiring manager isn’t straight with you. You can’t get past their veneer to see the real person behind the job title. They maintain the attitude and belief that they are interviewing you and not the other way around. Ask yourself: could I hang out with this manager if we were stuck in a remote airport together during a snowstorm? If the answer is no, don’t take the job. Your brain cells, heart cells and equilibrium are precious things. Why invest them in someone you don’t trust or respect?

9. You are not invited to meet your future teammates and you can’t seem to get into your physical work area to check it out, either. You can’t get your hands on a copy of the company’s Employee Handbook or the bonus program that will determine how much money you earn in this job. Don’t work for people who hide things from you! Nothing will get better after you start the job.

10. Your gut does not like the job.You don’t need any more reason than that to walk away from a job opportunity.

Humans are an old species. Our trusty instincts evolved to keep us safe. Listen to your body and you will not go wrong!

(This article by Liz Ryan was culled from Forbes Magazine on Line)

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