While job hunting, desperation may kick in and lead you to settle for the first organisation that offers you a chance. If you’re lucky, it will nurture your talent and ensure your growth as an employee. However, you may end up taking a job that will leave you with a lasting, unpleasant experience. To avoid this, here are signs that a company will be a good, or bad, place to work.


1. An enthusiastic panel

An interview is the initial and most important process for interviewer and interviewee. If the process goes smoothly, expect to be treated well at the company. The interview panel is trying to convince you to join its organisation. So, if the panelists go out of their way to impress you during the interview, they are likely going to show the same amount of dedication to ensure that their employees are happy. How enthusiastic are they when they are talking about their company’s work, vision and mission? If they are optimistic and joyful, this is a sign that they enjoy their work, too.

2. Investment in employee growth

Most prosperous companies enroll their employees for various training sessions to ensure they’re more competent in their roles. Employee promotion and training programmes are two signs that the company is a good place to work. So, talk to former and current employees to hear what they have to say about a company’s growth opportunities before you decide to take the job.

3. Nurturing strong work relationships

Does the company participate in team building exercises and community service? Your colleagues to-be don’t have to be your best friends but you should enjoy working with them. Employees come from diverse backgrounds and have different personalities, but a company should ensure that it fosters good working relationships among its workers by creating team building activities.

4.  A vibrant office

When you walk into an office and see the staff with smiles on their faces, or employees having energised conversations, this is a sign that they want to be there. During the final stages of your interview, ask for an office tour. This will provide invaluable insight into the company’s culture and its employees’ day-to-day office life. The work area or cubicles should reflect their individual traits. Incorporating their personal embellishments and decorations to the office décor is a sign that the company is encouraging them to be their authentic selves at work.


1.  The head of department is excluded from your interview

Depending on the organisation, you might have more than one interview before you’re hired. Therefore, after the first round, you should expect to be interviewed by the head of department who will be your direct boss. However, some companies will tell you that the department manager is not a decision-maker. Beware if a request for a meeting with him is denied. Ask yourself if you’re willing to work for an organisation where line managers don’t have a say in the employee selection process. If they don’t trust your line manager, how sure are you that you are going to be trusted to handle any major projects?

2. Unclear job description

If your job description isn’t clear, run! Taking a job with an unclear job description is like looking for a needle in a dark room. From the get go, this spells frustration and poor performance reviews. Your manager should be able to explain what success in your role will look like. Don’t expect to find personal or professional growth in such an organisation as no one knows what you’re supposed to be doing.

3.  Rude and unprofessional interviewers

Ever gone for an interview and some of the panelists are on their phones, busy texting or updating their status on social media? This is disrespectful behaviour and an unprofessional antic that you should not tolerate. Same applies to cancellation of interviews at the last moment without apology from the hiring manager or human resources. Take this as a sign of bad communication within the company.

4. Bad reputation

Some organisations are known for ill-treatment of employees and late salary payment without explanation. Ask around about a company’s reputation while researching about it. If you know a peer who is currently working at the company, reach out to them with open-ended questions. Ask them about their experience, their frustrations and what is most appreciated about them.

5. Jumping ship

A high turnover should be cause for alarm. Find out how long its employees have been working there, and if you notice a pattern of employees jumping ship, this is a sign of a bad company.  If an organisation isn’t a start-up but has all new employees, this should raise a red flag.