Working out if a company’s culture is right for you
Corporate culture can encompass everything from dress code and office décor, to history and tradition, to the day to day running of a business. So how do you work out if a company’s culture is right for you?
Check their website and read their values
Do your background check on the company’s cultural values and their mission. A mission statement is intended to clarify the ‘what’ and ‘who’ of a company, while a vision statement adds the ‘why’ and ‘how’. Do your own values and business goals align with that of the company? This will be a good indicator as to whether your objectives and career motivation will complement those of the company.
Research their online profiles
Before attending an interview or accepting a position, take a look at their social media profiles: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and see if you can get more insight to the culture at the company.
A LinkedIn Company Page helps you learn more about the business, brand, products and services, and the team who work there. It will elaborate more on their “About Us” section and give you an overview on their values and achievements. You will also be able to see the type of people who work there, and what their back ground and skills are.
A Twitter profile will allow you to see how the company engages with their audience. What kind of tweets do they send? Are they engaging? Do they have certain political views that don’t match with yours? Do you find their tweets boring? What type of conversation do they have with their followers?
Take a look at the type of content they tweet and see if you feel engaged with it!
This is a great way for the company to build an online brand and for you to establish exactly what kind of perception they give online and enable you see how they operate as a company. Do they communicate online with their followers? Do they celebrate their success on Facebook? Are they visual and investing time into their social media campaigns?
This platform is visual, authentic and will give a deeper insight to the company. Do the pictures illustrate dress down Fridays, rewards for achievements, birthday cakes, table tennis competitions and situations and activities that you can see yourself fitting into?
Word of mouth
Do you know someone on LinkedIn that has a connection with an employee at the company, or a direct connection? Employees are the heart and soul of making the culture so ask them for their thoughts on the company. Can you reach out to an ex-employee who has left the company? Ask them for their thoughts and reasons for moving on. If “bad management” or “stuck in a dead end job” come up then maybe this company won’t offer you the career progression or work environment you are after.
Glassdoor holds a growing database for you to read reviews on over 600,000 companies worldwide including CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more. All of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees.
Take a look now on Glassdoor and see what people are saying about the company you are interested in.
Take a look around
Arrive early to your interview to see how the employees interact with each other: are they friendly and say hello? Do they appear to have good relationships with one another? What is the dress code? Is the receptionist friendly and welcoming? All these will give you an indication to how the team are with one another and if you would enjoy that kind of working environment.
Ask at your interview
When you sit down with the hiring manager, ask them directly about the kind of culture at their company. Questions such as:
- How would you describe a typical day in this role?
- How would you describe your organisational culture?
- What would be the benefit with working for you over the competition?
- What keeps your employees motivated and working for you?
- What is the department I will be working in like?
You will hear this directly from the horse’s mouth- a person who has direct knowledge of it. Bearing in mind they might sugar-coat the role and culture slightly as they want to attract the top talent, but it will give you a great insight to the passion the employees have for the company.
Take up the offer to take a look around the office should you be asked. Can you see yourself settling in into the environment: Is there a gym, table tennis, break out area or some great city views? Are employees working on open plan desks or on their own work station? Is the office floor buzzing with noise and energy, or is it more quiet with heads down? Figure out what type of office environment you want to be part of and if you can imagine yourself settling in well.
Ask yourself if you could describe the work environment or culture in which you are most productive and happy, does it match with the company you are interviewing with?
If you are looking to recruit a new employee, read our blog on Hiring for Cultural fit.