Spotting a Negative Work Culture: Tips for New Nurses During the Interview Process

As a new nurse, entering the workforce can be an exciting but also daunting experience.

It’s important to find a workplace that supports your growth and well-being, but it can be challenging to assess the work culture during the interview process.

Here are a few tips to help you spot a negative work culture from the interview:

  1. Ask about work-life balance: During the interview, ask about the hospital’s policies on work-life balance and how they support their staff. If they have a reputation for demanding long hours or don’t offer flexible scheduling, this can be a red flag for a negative work environment.
  2. Observe employee interactions: Pay attention to the interactions between employees during your visit. Are they friendly and supportive towards each other? Or is there a lack of communication and teamwork?
  3. Evaluate the management’s attitude: The attitude of the management can often reflect the overall work culture. Do they seem approachable and supportive of their staff, or do they seem dismissive or uninterested in their employees’ needs?
  4. Look for opportunities for growth: Ask about the hospital’s professional development programs, continuing education opportunities, and career advancement paths. A lack of investment in employee growth can indicate a negative work environment.
  5. Gather feedback from current employees: Reach out to current employees or alumni from the hospital to get their perspectives on the work culture. This can provide valuable insights that may not be apparent during the interview process.

It’s important to take the time to assess the work culture during the interview process to ensure a positive and supportive work environment for your future as a nurse. By following these tips, you can make a more informed decision and find a workplace that aligns with your values and career goals.


  1. American Nurses Association. (2021). Work-Life Balance. Retrieved from
  2. National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2019). New Nurse Toolkit: Your Guide to a Successful First Year of Practice. Retrieved from
  3. Institute of Medicine. (2010). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. National Academies Press.
  4. American Nurses Association. (2021). Career Advancement. Retrieved from