When you land a job interview, you do whatever you can to make yourself seem like the best candidate for the job. You polish your resume, research the company thoroughly, and put on your best outfit. During the job hunting process, it is easy to forget that the company has to impress you just as much as you have to impress them. Accepting a job offer is a big decision, not only for your career, but also your happiness. No matter how good a job will look on your resume, if the company culture is not a good fit, then you run a serious risk of hating your job. So before you turn in your offer letter, ask yourself these questions.
How Large is the Company?
Do you see yourself working at a small company where you can have a hands on role? What about a large company with a lot of room for advancement? Working at a small company can mean a lot of late nights helping out your team, but can also be less rigid than a larger corporate structure. A large company gives you the opportunity to work with more people who have knowledge and experience you can learn from, but you might never meet the CEO.
Are you at a place in your life where you don’t mind burning the midnight oil? Or do you need more lenient hours to accommodate a family situation? Depending on your goals and priorities, a company’s flexibility, vacation package, and expected hours should factor into your decision.
How Flexible Are They?
Speaking of flexibility, do you have a strong desire to telecommute or work hours outside of the 9 to 5? Some companies believe employees should work when they feel they will be most productive but others require you to work the same hours as your team or clients. Which may work fine for you! Especially if your family and friends are on similar schedules.
Can You Be Creative?
Are you an analytical, no-nonsense type of worker who likes to follow procedure or do you need a creative rush to fuel your productivity? Companies that encourage creativity and innovation will most likely have a more casual dress code, open office settings and a more relaxed feel. Companies that have a less creative focus may give you the needed structure to help you do your best work, even if they are a little lenient.
How to Find the Answers to Your Questions
Now that you know what kind of culture you are looking for, how do you find out if the company you were offered a position at is a good cultural fit?
At the end of every interview, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. This is an easy time to freeze up in your interview, but come prepared with questions about the culture and you will have plenty to ask. Just make sure to phrase your questions professionally. And don’t ever ask what time you will get to go home every day! No matter how lenient a company, it sends the wrong message.
Websites like Glassdoor and Seek share employee reviews that can provide you with insight into a company. Also do an online search for any interviews from the company’s executives that will give you an indicator of what the company’s style and priorities are. If you see a few bad reviews, don’t let it ruin your opinion of the company if the rest of the reviews are good. There will always be a few disgruntled employees looking to vent.
Ask Your Network
Most likely someone in your professional network works, has worked or knows someone who has worked at the company and may be able to dish on the culture.
What type of culture do you look for when job hunting?
featured image credit: Stock That Rocks