Finding a great job in 2023 is challenging. There are new economic conditions to deal with, companies are still recovering from the pandemic, and there has been a lot of change over the past couple of years. 

“Interviewing is not easy. You must remain vigilant, as the hiring process is not always honest and transparent. You must be aware of misleading job advertisements, overpromises, and questionable tactics used by companies to entice applicants to join their firms. Some businesses will purposely try to game the new salary disclosure laws or ghost you after 10 rounds of interviews over the course of three to six months,” says Jack White on Forbes

recruitment agencies toronto phrases that scream bad company culture in an interview


One of the reasons you are looking to leave your current employer may be because of the culture. So, the last thing you want to do is agree to take a job with a company that has a bad company culture. But how do you identify a company with a bad culture? You can learn a lot from what is said during the interview. 

Check out this list of phrases that scream BAD COMPANY CULTURE by our Toronto recruiters:

“We work really long hours here”

When you hear a hiring manager utter these words, it could be a sign the company doesn’t value work-life balance. It could also signal they lack flexibility and are not focused on the welfare of their people. 

“Our management style is very hands-off”

While we all want to work for managers who give us the space to do our job, a hands-off management style could also mean there isn’t a lot of support for workers. They may expect you to figure things out with little resources, training, or mentoring. 

“We’re always hiring”

This phase can be viewed in two ways – the company is in a growth phase and looking to hire frequently as they expand. But the more likely meaning is the company has a high turnover rate. Look into why they are always hiring. There is always a reason. 

“We can explore this in the future”

These words usually mean “no” to whatever you are asking about. For example, if you ask an interviewer about the possibility of professional development or assistance in paying for professional courses related to your job. Be cautious about employers who are noncommittal about things during the interview. 

If you hear any of the above phrases (or similar), it should raise a red flag. It may not mean there is a bad culture, but you should proceed with caution. 


More Job Search Advice From Our Recruitment Team

How to Motivate Employees and Shape Your Company Culture During a Crisis

Need to Hire a Lot of People Quickly? How to Do It Without Wrecking Your Company Culture

Hesitant About a Job Offer? 4 Clever Ways to Discover a Company’s True Culture


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across Canada and internationally. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Construction & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Rhys Metler Sales Recruiter

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a VP, Client Services of IQ PARTNERS‘ Sales practice and leads the SalesForce Search recruitment team. He specializes in prospecting new business relationships, client retention and renewals, and building top performing Sales teams in even the most challenging environments.

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