If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are a job seeker in the final interview stages with a company. But you don’t feel the company culture is right for you in some way. Regardless of how perfect the job description is, and how attractive the pay and benefits package might be for your next role, what strategies can you use to make sure this company really is ‘the one’?
According to recent research by OfficeTeam, a whopping two-thirds of HR managers cited ‘cultural fit’ as a reason for losing talent. Around the same number said they’d misjudged a candidate’s likely cultural fit.
Is the company right for me?
Look at how the company talks about itself and its people
While doing your research on the company, look closely at how it talks about itself and its values, and pay attention to its use of language:
● Are its employees front and centre?
● Does it use lots of stock pictures or show off its actual employees? Is the language overly formal, or conversational?
● Is its ‘About Us’ section well-written, and does it give you some insight into how the company started and works?
Sites like Glassdoor give you a glimpse beyond the corporate gloss into what employees really think and feel. Like any reviews site, take the comments with a grain of salt, but look out for common threads of conversation.
Even little perks can come wrapped up in grievances. What good is free fruit when employees feel unappreciated and overworked?
Follow and engage with the company’s blogs and other feeds – and activity is key. Is the company active on social media, or is its Facebook gathering dust (and possibly complaints)?
LinkedIn comes into its own here, as it’s a great way to reach out to employees in similar roles and ask about life in their specific team or department. Take a soft approach here rather than fire your CV across straight off the bat.
Feel the vibe
In the same way that you’re being silently assessed on appearance and demeanour, take a moment to do the same for your potential new employer. From the way the receptionist greets you, to the state of the interiors and the general ambience, there are lots of ways to get a feel for the place. Think about whether it lives up to what you’ve read about the company online – does it meet expectations, good or bad?
At the appropriate point in the interview, ask the interviewer questions. The answers should give you examples of how the company works, what they enjoy about their job and how they came to join the company. It’s a non-aggressive way to find out whether remote or home working is a given (or an earned privilege), how easy it is to progress, and how (or if!) employees socialise.
How relationships are cultivated within the company may hold the key to getting ahead, so think about your approach to working relationships. Think about your approach to working: does your collaborative way of working fit with a wider individualistic culture, or vice versa?