How to Spot a Toxic Workplace Before You Even Apply

Jan Tegze
5 min readNov 30, 2022
Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

You’ve been scrolling through job postings for hours, and you’re starting to feel a bit discouraged. Every posting seems like it’s looking for the entire team rather than just one person. But then you see it: the perfect job at the perfect company.

You start daydreaming about your great team, a boss that understands and supports you all the way, and inspiring leadership. But before you get too excited, remember not all that glitters is gold. Just because a company looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’s actually a great place to work. In fact, many seemingly great companies are actually big ol’ dumpster fires.

So, how can you avoid wasting your time applying for jobs at places that will end up being toxic?

Here are a few tips:

1. Check out Their Social Media Presence

These days, most businesses have some social media presence, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Take some time to scroll through their feeds and get a feel of the overall company’s tone. Are they constantly putting out negative content? Probably not, but how does the comments section looks like? Are they posting only about their products or also about the people and initiatives they are undertaking?

2. See How They Treat Their Current Employees

One of the best ways to gauge whether a company is going to be toxic or not is observing how they treat their current employees. So, before you even apply for a job, take some time to look into the company and see what others have to say about it. Check out employee review sites, like Glassdoor and Indeed, and see what current and former workers have to say about the company’s culture, management, and work-life balance.

Do they frequently post negative reviews on sites, such as Glassdoor? Do their employees seem to keep leaving? These are red flags that you should take into consideration before applying.

Note: Glassdoor reviews are not always reliable because employees can write whatever they want and it’s hard to know whether the person was actually employed or it’s a fake review. Anyone can add a review or a fake review under any company. That



Jan Tegze

Author of bestseller “Full Stack Recruiter”, #Recruiter, Dream Chaser, Creator of impossible, #BlackBerry fan (probably the only one).