Finding that perfect job is, well, overwhelming. From interviews to job offers, there is a lot of work that goes into finding a job. If you’re seriously looking for a job, then you’ll probably find that the job search is basically a full-time job in its own right. But even finding a job that you think sounds great, offers you the right compensation, and comes with incredible benefits may not end up being the dream job you’ve been looking for.
Without one key ingredient to this job, it could end up being the worst job you’ve ever had. No matter how great the offer package looks or how much you think you want this particular position, without a great company culture, you could end up in a job that isn’t right for you. However, it’s about more than just finding a company with a culture; it’s about finding a company culture that you fit in. It’s about finding a company culture that you can excel in and be the best employee you can be.
What is company culture?
In today’s job market, many people start looking at things like number of paid days off, office events, ping pong tables, and free giveaways to define company culture, but that’s only a small part of what makes a company’s culture. Company culture is more about beliefs, organizational health, employee experience, and organizational structure. You need to be looking for these things as you interview for a job and make sure they align with what you are looking for.
How do you assess a company culture?
As an interviewee, it’s your job to assess the company you are interviewing with and make sure you fit with their culture. But how do you make sure you are a great fit? How do you assess a company culture after just one interview? There are two ways you can be a company culture investigator in order to assess a company’s culture:
- Observe. Observe. Observe. There are questions you need to have in mind going into an interview. These aren’t questions to ask out loud, but rather questions to ask yourself during the entire interview process. Here are some of the things you need to be looking for during your interview:
- How are you treated?
- What sort of tone does the interviewer have?
- How does the office environment feel?
- Were you kept waiting?
- How prepared is the interviewer?
While these questions may not give you complete insight into the company culture, they will certainly give you a basic understanding of how employees are treated at this particular company.
- The key is in the details. Aside from the questions you keep to yourself, it’s also a great idea to actually ask questions. These questions should happen before and during your interview. It’s part of your job to discover as much as possible before your interview, but you can’t figure everything out without talking to someone. Here are a few questions to consider during your discovery phase and during your interview:
- How is conflict in the workplace handled?
- What sort of employee recognition programs are in place?
- What is the leadership style like?
- What stance does the company have on professional and educational advancement?
- How would you describe the company culture?
As you begin exploring your career and job opportunities, keep in mind that company culture has a huge impact on you as an employee. You will be much more successful, engaged, and happy when you are working somewhere that has a company culture that aligns with your own beliefs and needs.
Share your stories of bad company culture and great company culture experiences in the comments section below and be sure to tell us what you think makes a great company culture!
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net