Company culture, like a particular soft skill demonstrated by a candidate, is one of those intangible things about an employer that you want to understand before you work there. However, picking out the right employer based on its corporate culture takes a little research ahead of your job search. Look at these four strategies to help you find an ideal fit between you and your potential employer.
1. Know Yourself and the Company
HR expert Angela Howard compares finding the perfect company culture to buying a dress or an outfit. Before you try on a dress, suit or outfit, you must have some idea of what kind of garments you want to wear. Similarly, you need to have some idea of the employer for which you want to work.
Write down what motivates you to come to work every day and what kind of company you think matches your professional purpose. Do you want to work for a business that serves other people to empower their lives, or one that's more technology-based? Does the company interfere with your normal routine, or does it fit well within your current lifestyle? Answer these questions to narrow your choices before you perform research on a company's culture. Reading the mission statement, goals and social media of the potential employer gives you some idea of how the company does what it does.
2. Tell Your Employer What You Want
Don't be afraid to tell the employer what you want out of your professional experience. Further, it's okay to ask the hiring manager how the employer might fit into your career goals. Ahead of your interview, answer two important and common questions your hiring manager may ask you. Where do you see yourself in five years? What about this organization interests you?
The answers to both of these questions can help you identify the company culture and whether you fit with this employer as long as you remain honest. Consider this the stage when you look over the outfit before you try it on in the fitting room. You can eliminate certain styles, colors and materials based on your preferences.
3. Utilize the Interview
In the next stage, the interview symbolizes the fitting room when trying on clothes. As you walk into your interview, observe the employees and the work space at the company. Does this seem like a place you want to work? Do your future co-workers smile and look as though they enjoy their jobs?
Don't forget to ask questions in the interview to help determine the company culture. Ask the hiring manager what it's like to work there and his favorite part of his everyday job. By the end of your face time, go with your gut feeling as to whether the corporate culture fits your goals.
4. Turn Down Something That Doesn't Fit
Just like an off-the-rack outfit that doesn't fit when you try it on, do not necessarily take the job if you receive an offer. You can always say no if the company culture does not mesh with your ideals.
A company's culture is something you have to see to figure out for yourself. Much like a job search vets candidates, these four strategies can help narrow your list of potential employers.
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