We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ~ Anna Nin


My wife and I love to travel. Like many families, part of our routine in panning for our next trip is to read the reviews of the hotel and city we are considering. A few months ago, we were going to Southern California for a wedding and read up on the reviews of the resort that most of our relatives and friends were going to stay at. The family members who booked it swore by it but a few of the reviews were not flattering and gave us a bit of concern. After the first night stay, it was apparent that the reviews didn’t reflect our experience. We loved it.


Don’t always take online reviews as gospel.


Many websites post reviews of companies for job seekers. As a recruiter, I have lost a few candidates that backed out due to negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Google. When searching for a job, it’s important to join a company you believe you will be happy at and matches your professional values but putting so much weight on a company review site gives you only part of the story. Just like my trip to Southern California – it’s best to rely on people you know directly and to trust your own instincts.


Here are some things to keep in mind:


  1. Review sites are based solely on personal opinion and we don’t know what is the back-story to each review. Was the employee let go and now they are seeking retribution?


  1. Different strokes for different folks. I know of one client-company that has several negative Glassdoor reviews and yet when you look at their company org list, many of their staff have been at the company for 5, 10 even 15 plus years. Something must be working well for them and keeping them there. Don’t assume that one previous employee’s experience will mirror yours.


  1. Reviews can be faked. Both negative and positive reviews have been found to be fraudulently written by people who have no association with a company or have been written by people from within the company with pseudonym profiles. If the review is either too negative or too positive, chances are that it is false.


So what do you as a job seeker do? The best thing to do is “see for yourself”. Visit the company and talk to some of the employees yourself. Get a feel for the company culture and personality first hand to see if it’s a fit.


Judging a company only by website reviews may rob you of a career move that is lasting and enjoyable.


Darryl Dioso is Managing Partner and a Job Interview Coach at RMSG ( in Toronto, Canada. For close to 20 years, Darryl has been helping clients improve through designing, implementing and managing hiring initiatives, operational improvements, and HR processes. He is passionate about business, technology, sports, travel and most of all – his family. Connect with him on LinkedIn at and follow him on Twitter at @DarrylRMSG