The best way to predict your term with any company won’t likely be your salary, benefits, or title — but it’s culture. Any role you step into, however, awesome it is on paper should be as suited to you as you are for the company.
Wondering how to gauge the cultural coherence, beyond a gut feeling? Stereotypes aside, every single company has a unique culture and it’s up to you to sniff it out before signing on.
Follow our cheat sheet to know whether or not you’ll be happy in your next professional home.
Find Out Why The Post Is VacantThe first step is to make sure you find out why exactly the job is available. Get all the information from the recruiter or hiring manager, or watch out for clues from the other employees who interview you.
If you do sense (for a pre-existing role) that there was tension surrounding the person’s exit, pay attention to your instincts as to whether or not there are practical issues at play — an unreasonable boss or unrealistically heavy workload — that might cause unrest for you, too.
Ask Clever QuestionsMore often than not, candidates don’t ask questions during job interviews instead, rely on the interviewers to tell them what they need to know. Don’t lose your best opportunity to hear directly from your interviewer about the company culture. Critical questions like ‘what are the success factors here’, or ‘what kind of person isn’t a strong fit for this role’ can speak a lot about the office environment.
How Do They Assess Performance Management You need to know how fair or demanding performance management is and how supervisors will be looking at your work before you accept the offer. What factors determine performance evaluations? How is negative feedback communicated? These are key factors that can determine your longevity in the organisation.
What About Employer BrandIf you're curious to know what it may actually be like working for a potential employer, a great place to start looking is at its employer brand. What are current employees saying about the organisation on social channels? Does the website showcase company culture, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and commitment to corporate social responsibility?
How Are They Dealing with Office Politics Conflicts are everywhere and that can actually be a good thing. Healthy conflict allows employees to share and resolve numerous viewpoints. Consistently avoiding conflicts may lead to resentment. Just like an efficient manager will share real-time feedback, be it positive or constructive, the lack of two-way feedback may be a sign of conflict avoidance. Try and ask what they describe as “office politics” and how a decision is made in times of disagreements.
In fact, high-performing teams have a productive approach to disagreement and problem solving so that everyone feels heard.
No doubt, you have the traits of the perfect employee and can do good work anywhere, but if the attitudes and predispositions of the workplace feel like second nature, you’re more likely to hit the ground running and carve a niche!