I applied for a job and passed through all phases e.g. online test, phone interview etc., etc.

Usually I look at Glassdoor and indeed and read about companies reviews but somehow I missed this one.

Company is inviting me for a interview through a recruiter but on glassdoor and indeed there rating is 2 stars out of 5.

Most recent comments (few months ago) include claims of "bullying". Out of 25 or so reviews most are negative.

Should I rely on online reviews as the journey to interview it like 4 hours and I will need to take day off?

  • This may be a good question to ask after usual "do you have any questions for us?" Sep 4, 2018 at 8:12
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    How long ago were these reviews made? If it was a few years ago, they might have taken steps to improve.
    – user34587
    Sep 4, 2018 at 8:21
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    Hello NULL, accepting an online review as the truth is a decision only you can make. There was a question here in the past about addressing such reviews during the interview, would that work for your situation? I'll try to find it
    – rath
    Sep 4, 2018 at 8:50
  • 5
  • 2
    One might also ask how much stock one should put into Stackexchange upvotes/downvotes.
    – Brandin
    Sep 5, 2018 at 5:10

5 Answers 5


I would go for the interview to get an impression myself and then decide, if I want to work there.

Depending on the size of the organization this could only be one department.

From my experience online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, because usually people who are satisfied (not only jobs, but also products, restaurants etc.) don't bother to write an online review. People who are disappointed or angry are much more likely to write an online review (sometimes just to "show them").

  • 1
    It also depends on what is being mentioned in a review. I was looking at some negative reviews myself this week about a particular company and many referred to a really bad PTO policy and bad/expensive health insurance.
    – Peter M
    Sep 4, 2018 at 11:07
  • I'm not entirely sure I agree with the last paragraph. I've only worked at one company large enough to have a glass door review presence. When I started things at the company were going great (rapid growth, and employee morale was good enough to repeatedly earn it a top 100 employers in the state award) and the glass door reviews were overwhelmingly positive. As the companies ability to win contracts declined first to just enough to maintain size and then to rapidly shrinking and losing staff the average glass door review followed the overall situation at the company, with maybe a years lag. Sep 4, 2018 at 11:15
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    I'm not saying ignore the Glassdoor reviews. I said take them with a grain of salt and consider also your own impressions.
    – Simon
    Sep 4, 2018 at 11:17

Should I rely on online reviews as the journey to interview it like 4 hours and I will need to take day off?

Never rely solely on online reviews for any important decision.

You don't know who wrote the reviews, you don't know their motivation, you don't know if they are real or fake. And you don't know if they would apply to your position or not.

If you like the job description and whatever you actually know about the company, go for the interview, dig in with relevant questions, and decide for yourself.


If the organization is big enough to have different offices, and only an office that is not the office you will work in has negative reviews, I wouldn't worry at all.

I only get worried if I find specific negatives that show up over and over again in poor reviews, and/or obvious fake good reviews, and they are all from the office that I would end up working at.

For example, there was this one shipping company where there were a bunch of negative reviews saying, saying that people were being forced to write fake positive reviews, and then the positive reviews I read did indeed seem fake. I could essentially see for myself that at least some of the criticism was valid and I refused to interview on this information alone, but generally speaking, glassdoor just doesn't give enough information for one to be sure of anything, it has a self-selected biased sample size and small sample size.


Ultimately you have to decide for yourself whether to act on information from an online review. That being said, I would treat this the way I would any other review. I generally read most of the negative reviews and try to gauge if the things people are mentioning are things that would negatively impact me. I've made lots of purchases of two star items that perfectly met my needs.

For instance, if most people are complaining about a lack of flexible hours or remote working opportunities, and those things don't matter to you, then you can largely ignore those reviews. The inverse is of course true, if there are issues that come up repeatedly and they are things that matter dearly to you, give them more weight when you are making any decision.

Secondly, try to see if there are common themes in the negative reviews. Are lots of people complaining about a handful of specific things? If they are, it could be indicative of a problem at the company - that's something you should definitely ask about in any interview, because it might be something they're aware of and actively trying to solve. Ask them what their plan is. Alternatively, if everyone is just mentioning their own distinct gripes, it might just be a few disgruntled employees venting. People are more likely to write negative reviews if they leave on bad terms, but that's not necessarily proof in itself that the company is a bad place to work.

Next, take a look at the positive reviews. Do they seem genuinely positive? Lots of places have policies to try and encourage positive reviews from employees, especially if they have a negative presence already. Some even give guidance on the kind of things to mention. Too many similar glowing reviews might be a red flag, as it could be a company with problems which is trying to hide them rather than tackle them.

Again, do the reviews which seem genuinely positive hit on things that are very important to you? You might be willing to forgo some negative things in order to gain some of your more desirable wishlist items.

This should help you get a feel for whether the reviews (even though they score quite low) are genuinely off-putting, or whether they don't bother you at all, or just that they give you lots of things to ask about in any interview situation.

tldr; I wouldn't automatically write off a company that had low scores. Try to dig a little deeper first, either in the reviews or in your discussions with the company.


As said in Simon's answer, Glassdoor reviews should be taken with a grain of salt: Those upset with the company are more likely to write about their experiences than those who are satisfied. Therefore, the fact that "most" of a very small number (25 is "very small") of reviews are negative should not in itself be a huge red flag to you.

That said, it is not likely that people will randomly sign up for Glassdoor to write negative reviews about a company in which they have no interest. It is likely, at the very least, that the content of the reviews that do exist are true; it is simply the scale that should be taken with a grain of salt. For me, what I would take away from that is that there are bad teams that exist within the company, and to decide for yourself what the likelihood is of you being placed on such a team (e.g. does your future job description match the job description of the person who wrote the review? If so, you might be on that team) and how you would feel if you were.

As for what you should do about it, it depends on what stage of the interview you are in. Personally, when I interview, one of the first things I do, even before the phone screen, is to look up the company on Glassdoor to see what people have written about. Then, if I see anything negative there, that becomes part of my screening questions for the company, e.g. "I looked you guys up on Glassdoor, and I saw a large number of reviews that said xxx about you; can you speak about that?" or something like that. If the reviews are particularly pointed towards a certain role/direction/group/person, then perhaps asking them to a particular person would be better (e.g. if you get an interview with one of your future coworkers, you should ask them if this is something they have seen/heard, or even if they have noticed low morale in their team, or something like that). In addition to addressing the issue head-on, it shows a few things:

1) It shows you have done your research on the company before attending the interview. No interviewer wants to hire a person who just grinds through companies without looking at information about them.

2) It shows them that you are actively looking for a position which is a good fit for you, not just "any job".

3) It shows them that these negative reviews are having an impact on their reputation, and that they should address these issues if they want to hire good talent.

That said, if you are in the later stages of the interview process, there is increasingly less you an do about it. As an extreme example, if you have the offer in hand already, you have fewer opportunities and points of contact you can ask about it; you're basically limited to only discussing this issue with the HR rep who you are assigned to, and as the saying goes, "HR is not your friend"; HR will say whatever they need to say to address your concern and get you to sign the contract, even if that means stone-faced lying to you. The more you can ask to the rank-and-file and not ask to HR or middle management, the more honest the answers will be.

  • Not sure what this got downvoted? Seems like a pretty good answer to me
    – Gelatin
    Jun 16, 2020 at 17:04

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