How to Spot a Toxic Employer

Sometimes, the greatest factor influencing your job satisfaction is the quality of your boss. A great boss can make any job perfect, while a toxic boss can ruin even your dream job. Luckily, it is easy to spot a toxic boss, even as early as the interview stage. When you are sitting in your next job interview, watch out for these warning signs of a bad boss:

  • Disrespect – If your pre-interview emails are ignored, or your interview start and stop times are disregarded with no apologies, this shows that the boss has little concern for your feelings or time.
  • Body languageIf your potential boss is constantly shuffling papers while you talk, fidgeting, or refusing to make eye contact, he or she may be insecure and will possibly use a position of authority to try to show dominance.
  • Obvious mistrust – A bad boss often lacks trust in the people with whom he or she works. During the interview, ask what problems are occurring in the company and what the causes of problems may be. If the interviewer is quick to blame other employees, especially those he or she supervises, this is a warning sign.
  • Language – Listen for subtle clues that the potential boss may be wrong for you. For example, if he or she starts every statement on a negative note and then tries to water it down, he or she is likely a very negative and difficult to please person.
  • Being self-absorbed – If your potential boss seems more interested in telling you what he or she thinks than in learning about you, this is a danger signal. Watch for a person who interrupts while you are talking, or who insists in pointing out how you are wrong and replacing your ideas with his or her personal answers.

A toxic boss can make any job a living nightmare. Watch for these warning signs during your interview to get a feel for the type of person for whom you will be working. If the interviewer shows signs of being a toxic boss, you may be better off to move on to the next position.