Using the Interview to Avoid a Toxic Position

This program is not currently scheduled

However, you can find resources like slides and recordings under Materials at the bottom of this page. To get announcements when this program is offered next, sign up to the OCPD listserv and be sure to open emails from "UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development"


Micromanaging boss? Petty colleagues? Unreasonable expectations? How can you frame questions and assess a workplace, lab, clinical setting or workplace to help you determine if a job, postdoc or residency is a bad fit for you or toxic? How can you get accurate information when current staff might not be motivated to be candid with you? Come to this interactive workshop and we'll show you how to use your interview effectively!
This session is offered as part of Workplace Navigation (formerly Manage Up) and the Faculty Career Series.

Learning outcomes

This session is intended for trainees at all stages.

  1. Define what a ‘bad fit' or 'toxic work environment’ is
  2. Identify steps to research the environment of a lab, residency or job opportunity before the interview
  3. Use questions during an interview to determine whether an organization values a healthy environment
  4. Articulate strategies and practice language to frame questions, considering that current staff will probably not be candid with candidates if their environment is unhealthy
  5. Describe examples of verbal and non-verbal red flags during an interview
  6. Describe factors that can make it difficult to recognize and weigh the potential impact of red flags during and after an interview
  7. Utilize their professional community and social media to vet various institutions and opportunities


Naledi Saul, MPM - Director, Office of Career and Professional Development


This workshop will take place in Zoom. There will be lecture portions and practice portions where you will try things out in groups of 3-4.




A note about our virtual events: We would like to welcome you, as and where you are, to our virtual events. If there are times you just don’t want to be on camera, feel free to attend this event with your camera and mic off. If you prefer to switch on your camera and participate that’s great too. And if this event just won’t work for you please remember you can always make an appointment with us at any time. 

UCSF is committed to making its facilities, activities and events accessible. To request accommodations for this event, please contact Trish McGrath ([email protected]) at the Office of Career and Professional Development at least one week before the event.