"Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow."
Anthony robbins

Five Ways to Spot Bad Corporate Culture While Interviewing

As recruiters, one of the #1 things we hear from candidates is… “I want to find a good corporate culture”. The problem with CULTURE is that is can be hard to define and sometimes only visible after you have joined a team. You must also be aware of micro-cultures that exist within a company that can be very different based on the hiring manager and their team.

Many times, there are “TELLS” on display during the interview process that can be strong indicators of culture. Take note of these behaviors and what they might be telling you about the team and how it functions. A few watch-outs…

1) Management makes the job sound too easy – All well-paying medical sales jobs have their challenges. If the manager is using snappy phrases like “this product sells itself” or “our competition is garbage”, you may want to take a step back. If a leadership team thinks the job is too easy, this can indicate an overtone of disrespect to the sales reps (and the real issues they face). Perhaps the manager thinks they could do it better than everyone on the team or is totally out of touch with what goes on in the field. A well-grounded manager should be aware of the challenges and able to speak to how top performers are addressing/overcoming.

2) Manager does not value your time – Juggling interviews and managing multiple schedules is never easy. While candidates are often asked to make sacrifices, you should proceed cautiously when the manager is taking advantage of the situation. A manager who is insistent upon last minute interviews or constantly changing the schedule is showing you what it might be like to work for them. If this is an isolated incident, you should roll with the punches, but BEWARE if this persists. A manager who keeps “moving the goalposts” might be overwhelmed or underprepared to lead a team effectively.

3) No access to current reps on the team - As the interview progresses, the hiring manager should encourage you to speak with current reps that work for them. If the manager seems unwilling to do this or offers excuses like “my reps are too busy to talk”, you need to start asking why. While it is understandable that the manager may steer you away from certain team members, there is no reason they can’t give you a few names. A skilled leader should be confident in doing this because transparency improves employee retention.

4) Hiring manager never lets down their guard during interviews –It is perfectly understandable for a manager to be “all business” at the early stages of the interview process. As things advances, there should be some mutual sharing of personalities and goals. A manager who plays everything so close to the vest that they lack authenticity is sending a message about their distant leadership style.

At some point, the interview discussion should shift away from “Are you good enough to work here?” to “Is this the correct fit for both parties?”. No matter what the job pays, there should be some level of trust between you and the hiring manager. No one wants to work for a robot.

5) Leadership avoids compensation details – Of course, you should NOT be discussing compensation in the first interview, but as things progress to an offer stage, there should be clarity about the financial opportunity. In most medical sales roles, there is a variable component to compensation; so it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what you will make. That said, a reputable company should have metrics around commissions, and the manager should be able to articulate income expectations. A manager who dances around compensation questions or points you to human resources for answers is skirting one of their primary job responsibilities.

RULE OF THUMB: If something feels “off” during the interview process, you should discuss it with your recruiter proactively. Better to get it out on the table in advance than to feel uneasy about a job change. Culture is too important to be overlooked.

Many times, the actions of the leadership team speak louder than their words.

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