Using Employee Reviews To Decide On a Job

Before you buy a new product, most people read at least one review to help them decide if it’s the right product for them.

So, why shouldn’t the same process apply when deciding whether or not to apply for a new job?

Most businesses have some form of online presence. Whether it’s an active social media page, or simply a business listing on Google. And on almost all of these platforms, it’s possible for clients — and current/former employees — to leave some feedback to help others understand what the business is all about.

Whether the feedback is positive or negative, it’s important for you, as a job seeker, to know how to vet that information so you can make a truly informed decision.

Today, we’ll look at exactly how you should read and use employee reviews about a business to know whether you should work for that business! Let’s take a look!

Spend your time wisely

The bigger a company, the larger their online presence. Which can mean potentially spending hours, or even days to sift through all the information.

So before you invest your time into doing significant company research, ask yourself how far into the application process you are, and how serious you are about this employer already.

It definitely never hurts to do a quick review of the company online before even sending in your resume. But if it will take less time to send the initial application than to do your due diligence and research the company (and there are no obvious red flags), then you would be wise to wait until you’ve secured an interview before doing the extra research.

Start at the source

First and foremost, you’ll need to put the review in context. That means understanding where the information is coming from.

If the review was posted anonymously, then you probably won’t be able to verify if the information was true or not.

If there is a name attached, see if you can find out how and when this person was connected to the company. Perhaps they have a LinkedIn account that lists their job title, or maybe they have a listing on the company directory on their website.

Also consider which platform this person chose to share their review on, and what sort of other reviews the company has on that platform. Are there a lot of spam or bot reviews? Is it a professional platform, like LinkedIn, or something more commonly used for personal rants, like Reddit?

Take things with a grain of salt

Someone’s review is based on their subjective experience. Which has the benefit of being more realistic, but it isn’t always more relevant.

Remember that each and every review is subjective. And as a result, some people will have wildly different experiences to share. You may see reviews at both ends of the spectrum, all the way from 0 stars to 3 thumbs up!

When reading reviews, try to understand if that person had a unique experience that you would be unlikely to share. For instance, if they quit because they hated their manager, but you meet that manager at an interview and actually get along really well, then your experience may vary.

Most negative reviews are left by disgruntled employees who have a personal issue with how they were treated. Beware of reviews that appear overly emotional; it’s better to stick to the facts.

Likewise, some positive reviews may be influenced by other factors, such as a company trying to manicure their online presence. If a review feels like a canned response, is too generic, or even if there are a higher-than-average number of reviews within a short timespan, then they might not be 100% genuine.

And most importantly, never rely on a single review to make your decision. Look for trends and patterns. If the majority of reviews say a certain something about a company, then that’s nothing to ignore!


Did you know that META vets our partner employers to ensure they offer a fair and positive experience for their employees?

We take the time to do the research for you. And, by building relationships with these employers, we also help them to build trust in our job seekers.

So if you want to find a job that’s right for you, AND well reviewed, then book your free one-on-one appointment today to get started!

Belleville Office

META Services