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The term company culture is one that can now be found echoing loudly throughout hiring processes everywhere. It is described as being the sum of values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. Although the purpose of most interviews is to assess whether or not you’d be a good fit for a company, it’s also a great chance for you to determine if a company is a good fit for you. Each and every single company you interview with is unique in its own way. Each has its own way of communicating, interacting and handling conflicts. Likewise, each company has a different set of values and expresses those values quite differently. Deciding whether or not a company aligns with your personal and professional values can be a difficult task (even for the most seasoned job seeker). Here are some great questions to ask if you’re looking to quickly decode a company’s culture.

 

Questions about employee success:

  • How does the company invest in the personal and professional development of employees?
  • How does the company celebrate employee success?
  • In what ways do you evaluate employee performance?

Questions about communication:

  • When conflict arises in the office, how is it typically resolved?
  • How are employees encouraged to voice their ideas and company-related concerns?
  • How are decisions and company changes effectively communicated with all team members?

Questions about the team:

  • What characteristics and personality traits are you looking for in potential team members?
  • What is the company’s approach to team-building efforts?
  • How would you describe your company’s culture in three words?

Questions about the interviewer:

  • What excites you most about the company’s mission?
  • What is your favorite part about the company culture here?
  • What’s one thing that you look forward to each day when coming to work?

 

“Your interview begins the minute you first connect with an employer.” Most job seekers have heard this phrase before. However, it’s important that you begin approaching each professional interaction with an equivalent mindset. Sometimes, we learn more about a company’s culture by observing than we do by asking questions. With that being said, here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before saying “yes” to the job.

 

Questions to ask yourself:

 

Before the face-to-face interview…

  • What was my initial conversation like with this employer?
  • How has written communication been thus far?
  • Does  the receptionist seem cheerful or irritated when answering the phone?

After the face-to-face interview…

  • Was my presence acknowledged by other staff members?
  • Was the office organized and clean or messy and chaotic?
  • Has the company been respectful of my time thus far?
  • How did current employees interact with each other (if at all).
  • Did the office environment seem relaxed or uptight?
  • Did I feel comfortable and welcomed?

 

 

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