how to understand that it is not worth going to the company

how to understand that it is not worth going to the company

“Take while they give”, “accept an offer, otherwise you will be without a job at all”, “endure – fall in love” and other attitudes that I followed at the beginning of my career, and later regretted. If you recognize yourself in these lines, then this article is for you.

When you search for a job for a long time or receive 100,500 rejections, insecurity, impostor syndrome and rash decisions become companions at interviews. I am Vova from OKAY and today I will tell you what points you should pay attention to before employment so as not to fall into the pit of depression.

Why is it so important to be critical of the company’s choice?

Here, as in laws, ignorance does not exempt from responsibility, and the consequences can be decent. Let’s go from smaller to larger:

Waste of time

Suppose you are employed for 2 months, work for 2 months and suddenly realize that the company is not yours at all. You go to look for another job and it takes another 2 months. Now the employer automatically fears that you are such a candidate, otherwise why do you have a break of six months?

Mental health

It can be worse: you decide that everything is fine with the company, but something is wrong with you, you will endure, hope that something will change, and be afraid to look for a new job. It all ended with me burning out, getting fired, and 6 months of binge watching Tik Tok. You don’t have to, like Vova, take care of yourself.

If it seems that concern for mental health is a lie, watch the video called “CEO’s communication with his employees”, you will like it, there is direct eroticism.

Reputational risks

At first glance, it may seem that the company is normal: it works, makes money, develops. However, before employment, it is important to understand whether everything in the business is legal and whether there are no gray areas that will later become your side.

A simple example: a feedback aggregator. We took reviews, duplicated ourselves on the site — that’s it. But if you dig deeper, it turns out, for example, that there are subtleties of copyright on these reviews and the photos to them. Therefore, it is better to prepare the necessary questions in advance.

Future career track

The products are everywhere: on marketplaces and in sports betting, state. products and porn sites. There are no good or bad industries, they are different. But before employment, think about the next steps in your career and go to the industry where you would like to develop.

For example, I’m building an OKC product community and I’m looking for a product for the project. If the candidate for this vacancy has a line in his resume with experience in building a community, but the product is “10 steps to make a successful success: multiplying profits by investing only 1,999 rubles”, then for me this is a minus. I’m unlikely to pass a person further for an interview, not because there is something wrong with the “Successful Success” products (they make more profit than mine), but because with a probability of 99% we will not agree on worldview and soft skills.

What to ask at the interview to make sure that the choice is correct?

Asking questions to the recruiter and the hiring manager is not only possible, but also necessary: ​​it is an indicator of interest in the product and developed critical thinking. In addition to questions that are important to me as an employee (salary, schedule, company structure, etc.), I also ask questions to feel out the company.

Product questions

It is important to me that the company has a product culture. That decisions are made transparently, no one confuses positions, does not try to blame everything on me, and the company’s expectations coincide with my capabilities.

Here are some questions:

  • Tell us who is a superstar in your company and why? I love this question: the employer will highlight the skills that he really values ​​and expects from the candidate. If I hear: “Vasek is the bomb: he works on weekends and after work, draws designs himself so as not to burden designers, and sometimes reviews the code! Well done Vasya!”. This is a red flag.

  • What are the company’s current goals and objectives? How were they accepted? For me, the red flags are opaque or immeasurable goals and prescriptive decisions. For example, “the director wants x100 to the profit, this is our goal” or “for now we should get on our feet, then we’ll see.”

  • Tell us how a product triggers a new feature for you? I am waiting to hear the chain from the analysis of metrics to the rollout of the feature. The biggest red flag for me: “The director looks at what seems important and we do it.”

Questions on soft skills

This is a question of whether we are mentally compatible with the company, the manager and the team. For example, if transparency, the opportunity to develop leadership qualities and teamwork are important to me, I will ask something like:

  • Tell me why the last employee in your company quit?

  • Give an example when someone from the team showed their leadership qualities.

  • How does your team develop?

Legal issues

Questions about the legality of the business and legal protection of the product. I ask, if there are doubts, there is not enough information or the project is at the very beginning.

Note: when asking, please think about who you are asking so as not to put people in an awkward position. For example, HR does not need to ask questions about the increase in metrics, how does it know.

What and where to learn about the company so as not to run into employers

Company website

Captain Obvious, but googled the company: read “About us” on the website, go through the user’s path, read the texts. This will not only introduce the product, missions and values, but also help form the first impression of the project.


It’s great if you can get to know a former employee of the company. For me, this is the most effective way. The incumbent will tell you how things are going now, what will be asked at the interview, what is expected of the candidate and what should be avoided. Ex – will highlight negative moments, if there are any. And such a network will be useful in the future, even if the company does not work out.

You can build a network on LinkedIn (mostly international there), Telegram chats or in our product club.


As in the mental health example above, sometimes you can just Google it. The main thing is to do this, and not stop at a good landing page of the company.

Job boards

But on hh. ru and in Habr. Career is a section of reviews about the employer. Special thanks to those who write them. It is necessary to treat (as with any feedback) critically: you will learn the point of view only from one side, so you should not believe blindly.

For international companies, the glassdoor site is great, our foreign colleagues are much more willing to share feedback.

Legal documents

This applies not only to the legality of business, but also to documents during communication. Asking for time after the offer to study the employment contract is an excellent practice. But “let’s write a salary of 20,000 rubles in the contract, and pay another 100,000 as a bonus” is NOT a great practice.


An invitation to work is an achievement that you can and should be proud of. Acceptance of this invitation is your own risk. Approach the search for a product job and subscribe to the Telegram channel OKC, in which I share employment life hacks, conduct broadcasts where you can talk with experienced products and learn how to get into the company of your dreams.

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