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Transition Talk

by Mike Arsenault, Vice President of Candidate Services

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Q: I have an interview coming up and frankly, I don’t really know if I want to go. I did some research online to find out as much as possible about the company and the reviews are not good - bad pay, no advancement, unmotivated workforce, etc. The interview was set up by a good friend and I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I feel like I have all the information about the company I need and it’s telling me to run! I don’t want to waste their time or mine, but I’m not sure how much weight I should put into online company reviews.

A: That’s a great question for many reasons. First, let’s start with the obvious. Several studies exist that claim online reviews skew people’s purchasing decisions. If you do your research before making an important choice - for instance, choosing your first civilian job - you may even put more weight into what you’re reading.


So to answer your question simply, yes, I would give some credence to what you’re reading online, especially if there seems to be a pattern of similar comments. However, this advice comes with a few important caveats.


One of the first things you need to remember when assessing how much value you give reviews is what the context is of the statements. Remember, unlike product reviews, we’re dealing with people’s personalities. I’ve had teachers, bosses and commanding officers that provided me with outstanding experiences and lessons. However, sometimes those same people were not universally liked because of hard decisions they had to make with others who weren’t cutting it.


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