Avoid Hiring a Toxic Employee!

Toxic employees are incredibly costly for organizations — they can lower employee morale, upset customers, and even bring on litigation fees. So it’s essential to weed them out before they join your company. When you’re interviewing a candidate, be on the lookout for signs of incivility. Consider asking questions such as:

  • What would your former employer say about you — positive and negative?

  • Tell me about a time when you’ve had to deal with stress or conflict at work. What did you do?

  • What about yourself would you like to improve most? How about a second thing? A third?

Also find out how the candidate treated your parking lot attendant, your receptionist, and your administrative assistant. Was he gracious and respectful or rude and condescending?

Finally, conduct careful reference checks and investigate any hunches thoroughly.


Adapted from “How to Avoid Hiring a Toxic Employee,” by Christine Porath

Trevor Lee – EP International




We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.


2 comments on “Avoid Hiring a Toxic Employee!

  1. I feel one must be careful to differentiate genuine toxicity from people who are useful mavericks. Also if a previous employment relationship was toxic on either side, that offers no guide to future behaviour?

    Liked by 1 person

    • trevorblee says:

      Agreed Peter. Good leaders should have the ability to differentiate. The old style ‘command and control’ types will be unwilling to even try.


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