When you’re looking for a new job, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Would you enjoy the daily tasks? Does their salary range match up with yours? These things are easy to answer since they’re in writing. One thing that isn’t always easy to determine is whether or not the company culture is a good fit. Here are some tips on how to evaluate the culture before accepting the position.
1. Check out their online presence.
Not just the one they put out there either. Check out what current and former employees had to say on company review sites. Remember to take these with a grain of salt, though. You should be looking for patterns in the reviews.
Check out the company’s social media and website too. Is their social presence fun or formal? That can indicate the type of culture they have. Same goes for their website content.
2. Observe the office during your interview.
Okay, maybe not during, but while you’re waiting or walking to the meeting room, take a look around. Do people seem happy? How are the dressed? Are people allowed to listen to music while working or is it a more formal environment where they can’t? You need to evaluate the answers to these questions and if they match up with your idea of a good work environment.
3. Ask your interviewers!
Now, you’re not going to get any bad information, so you have to ask the right kind of question. “Do you like the company culture?” isn’t going to cut it. Of course they’re going to say yes! They’re trying to win you over. Instead, ask “how would you describe the company culture?” or “what’s your favorite part of working here?” They’ll likely give you an honest answer because a great culture means different things to different people. They may think a formal and professional culture is the best thing in the world, while you may prefer a relaxed, Google-esque culture.
4. Look at the benefits.
Benefits are a good telltale of the company culture. If your insurance plan stinks and also costs you an arm and a leg, that may be a sign that the company doesn’t care about its employees. If the paid time off includes a total of 5 or 10 days, that might mean time away from the office is frowned upon and they’re trying to limit your paid time away. Notice for these examples I said it may be or it might. These things don’t automatically equal a bad culture. Just like unlimited PTO and a high 401(k) match doesn’t mean a great culture. Generally, however, companies that care about employees make an effort to offer good benefits.
The important thing when considering these tips is to look at the whole picture. You need to evaluate all of the different signs and not judge the culture based on one thing alone. By analyzing the information from a few different sources, you’ll be able to determine whether or not the company culture will be a good fit – before you accept the position.