The hiring process is your opportunity to assess the company culture of the organization and determine whether it will be a good fit for you. Obviously, you want to seek lasting job opportunities that are aligned with your personal values and goals, so it is imperative that you get a feel for whether the company is somewhere you can spend a lot of time and years of your career.
Before applying and/or interviewing with an organization, it is crucial that you do extensive research to demonstrate your seriousness about working for that company. However, that research can also enlighten you about the culture of the organization as well. Check out the company’s website and social media pages. What is the tone of the content? How engaging is the organization? Additionally, spend some time Googling the company. What are the reviews from customers and former employees like?
Take Note of Attire
When you are there for the interview, pay attention to how employees are dressed. From the receptionist to those interviewing you, the attire of people who already work there can give insight into the culture of the organization. Is everyone wearing suits and ties? Are people wearing slacks and button-down shirts? Just paying attention will tell you a lot about the company culture.
Remember: Even if you discover a casual company culture during your research, it is vital to your success that you dress in professional business attire for your interview with any organization.
Pay Attention to Interactions
Much like your body language during the interview says a lot about you, noting how people interact with each other will inform you of company culture. Are people serious and formal in their interactions with each other? Do you notice joking, playfulness, or laughing in their conversations? Is everyone treated with respect or do you notice any condescending tones? Those distinctions will provide insight into the culture, satisfaction, and camaraderie among the employees.
While you may not be able to outrightly ask about the company’s culture and expect a straightforward answer, you can ask specific questions that will provide the insight you are looking for. Questions like “How long have you been with the company?”, “What achievement are you most proud of?”, and “What is the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?” offer great insight into employee satisfaction, company values, and how the company handles adversity.