In the article about deciding from multiple offers, we talked about the necessity to check how the company culture would suit you. We are back with a more detailed post about how to check if the company culture and your own working style are a match!
Employers and interviewers look for candidates who fit the company culture. They want someone who would understand the mission of the venture. But as a candidate, it is equally important to make sure that the company culture fits your values, work ethic and working style.
You might love what you do, but a mismatch between your working preferences and the company culture can take away all the fun and motivation. Hence, it is important to make sure that the company culture is right for you.
So, how to exactly do that?
Before we jump into it, what exactly do we mean by company culture?
To put it simply, it is the overall atmosphere of the company. It is the “personality” of the company. It includes the mission, work ethics, attitude and expectations. Some companies have a very participatory work system, some companies have a strict hierarchy, some companies have an informal and flexible working style, while some companies can have strict and rule-bound working hours and codes of conduct.
Now, that we have an idea, let us look at some pointers.
- Run an Online Search:
The first thing you can do is Google the company. Check their website, and of course, the “About Us” page. How the website has been maintained, what the company claims its mission is, what it chooses to display on the website can tell a lot about the values.
But wait, the online search doesn’t end there. Check the LinkedIn page, online reviews, and if it’s a big company, one might even find some latest news. There are also websites where the employees themselves provide a glimpse into the workings of the company.
Evaluate your preferences and see if what you find online makes you happy or puts you in a doubtful mindset.
Utilize technology and you will find quite a few things about the company culture!
- Ask Someone Directly:
Sometimes, there isn’t much matter to be found online.
Asking someone who has worked in the past, or even someone you know who is presently working there and honest enough, can help you get a clearer idea about the company culture.
But it is important to ask the right questions. While you ask someone directly, you can ask things like what is the vision of the company, and in what manner has it been followed, whether the employees get their salaries on time, the kind of atmosphere the office has, among other questions.
Check out how the answers match with your preferences and then see if the culture suits you.
And make sure to actually ask for specific examples, so that you are faced with minimum generic answers.
- Look Around:
When you go for the interview, try to reach a bit early. You can use this time to look around and perhaps catch glimpses of how employees talk to each other, how they are dressed, how stressed or de-stressed they look, their seating arrangement, their interactions with senior and junior co-workers, and other such day to day activities.
You can then make an educated guess how comfortable or uncomfortable you will be in the workplace.
Remember, there is no right or wrong company culture as such.
A simple “is it a good company to work at?” is enough only if the person you are asking has a similar lifestyle to you. What works for one person might not really work for another person. This is the reason why asking the right questions is important.
Who said only employers are supposed to run a background check of the candidate? A cultural fit is a two-way street.