Finding the right company cultural fit

people meeting on the floor

When interviewing with a new company, everyone knows to review the role, the benefits and the salary. However, many candidates don't think to evaluate the culture of the company during the interview process.

Company culture is one of the leading reasons people change jobs. In 2015, Forbes research showed that Fortune’s Best Companies consisted many of “the same companies listed on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work," demonstrating that company culture is key to being happy in the workplace.

If you are ready to begin your job hunt, follow these five key steps to decipher if a company’s culture is the right fit for you:

1. Self-evaluation

“Company culture is about working with like-minded people. I like being challenged and want to be comfortable challenging my peers, which is easier when you have the same values and goals in mind,” said Julia Horiuchi, Manager at Robert Walters California.

Before considering a company’s culture, it is important to first understand the type of work environment you thrive in. Think about your previous or present employer(s). What aspects of the workforce did you enjoy most? What were the things you didn’t enjoy? Once you have a general idea of the type of work environment you are looking for, you can start analyzing the companies you are interviewing with.

2. Review the website

Most start-ups have dedicated web pages that specifically showcase their people, their mission and their core values. This is a great way to get a basic understanding of what principles the company values most and what they look for in potential employees. Companies often have a photo gallery on their website to give a better understanding of the office vibe. This is a great resource to get a sneak-peak inside the office.

Company Culture is about working with like-minded people. I like being challenged and want to be comfortable challenging my peers, which is easier when you know that you have the same values and goals in mind. 

3. Social media research

Another good way to get a feel for a company’s culture is to do some online research. Be sure to check out their social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Viewing their recent posts on their social sites can give you an understanding of the company’s activities, team outings, published content and latest news coverage.

To obtain a more “behind-the-scenes” look, review the company's ratings and comments on Glassdoor, where past and present employees share their experience in the workplace and with the management team. This gives you insight into what current or past employees experience and the pros and cons of the company.

4. Be observant

“When interviewing at a company, look beyond the people you interview with. Look around the office. Can you see yourself working with the people there? Do they look like they are enjoying their role and engaged? Visiting the office gives you the  opportunity to glimpse into the very soul of the company,” comments Simon Bromwell, Managing Director Robert Walters California

Perhaps one of the most valuable impressions of the workplace is during the initial onsite interview. This gives you a chance to observe the other employees and how they interact. It also allows you to understand the office set-up. Is it a collaborative space? Are people tied to their desk or are they moving around? Can you see yourself working there? These are all things to think about during your onsite interview.

5. Ask questions

The final step in understanding a potential employer’s company culture is to ask them about the work environment during the interview. Some great questions would include the following: 

  • How would you describe the company culture here?
  • What would a typical day-to-day look like?
  • Who would I be working the closest with and would it be possible to meet them?
  • What do you wish you knew before starting here?
  • What key traits are essential for filling this role?

These questions should help in deciding if the company is the right fit for you and if you can see yourself there in the long-term.

If you want to alleviate the stress of finding the right company for you, find out how a recruiter can help.

Or start your job search today.

Career advice 

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