SINGAPORE: A TikTok user provided her insight into spotting a toxic work environment from the get-go, telling everyone what questions one can ask in a job interview to tell them what kind of place a company is.

The woman, who works in tech and goes by @Plzimfragile on the platform, wrote, “Trust me I have first-hand experience,” in a video she posted on Dec 23.

@plzimfragile

trust me i have first hand experience #singapore #sgtiktok #recruitersoftiktok #techsales #jobinterviewtips #jobsearch #careertiktok #toxicworkplace #toxicbosses

♬ original sound – struggling tech gal – struggling tech gal

Since interviewees, and not just interviewers, should ask questions, she advised that they should not ask about what people like about working at the company.

“It’s very easy to fluff your way through,” she said.

Instead, interviewees should ask about the company’s values and how it holds people accountable.

“You can also ask them what happened to the last employee who made a mistake” and “what happens to employees who challenge the status quo.”

She called that last question “really important” as it gives interviewees “a really good idea as to whether they only want to hire yes people or actually value good feedback.”

The TikTok user added that the last question she would ask is: “If you were in my position, would you take this job?”

Interestingly, she said that the idea behind the question is not so much to get an answer but to observe the interviewer’s body language.

“The trick and idea here is to spot for non-verbal responses,” she added.

Read also: Common job interview mistakes, find out which one is the biggest

Commenters on the video have commended @Plzimfragile for her insights, with one even saying she wished she had seen it before she had gone on a job interview.

“(Although) its true many companies are toxic, these (questions) can help to at least have a good hunch & also provide us some expectations,” the commenter added.

And when another TikTok user wrote that it seems that @Plzimfragile was “interviewing the employer rather than the other way round,” she answered that an interview is two-way.

“They interview me but I also have to like the company right????” she added.

Others, however, warned her that asking such questions could signal red flags for employers, which could make someone less employable.

“The HR would be like, are you planning for a revolt?” a commenter asked, to which she underlined that it’s for a job interview, “not a rebellion.”  

Probing questions may backfire

As warned by some above, such probing questions and retort-like responses during job interviews may also backfire as they may be misinterpreted by the interviewer in thinking that the interviewee is the toxic one, thus failing the interview.

Here’s a safer way to spot a toxic work environment without asking too many probing questions:

The interview process is unreasonable. Watch out if you are made to go through hoops and assigned unnecessary work.

You fail to get clear answers from interviewers. Be warned if the hiring managers are ambiguous about what is expected from you.

Keep an eye out for a “go above and beyond” culture. If it sounds like you’ll be expected to never go home from work, this is a sure red flag.

The company refers to itself as a “family”. Be on your guard if you feel the office vibe is personal rather than professional. /TISG

Read also: 36-year-old man who went for more than 10 admin job interviews in 1 month still did not get hired

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