More and more of the candidates that I talk to are concerned about the company culture at their potential future employer. Let’s face it, besides the work itself the culture of a company is going to determine if you enjoy your new position or not. So, the question is, how to determine what the work environment is going to be like when interviewing with a future employer? As mentioned in this article it’s important to do your homework before an interview to see if you can get an idea of the company culture.
Article: How to Find Out if a Company is a Cultural Fit for You
When it’s time to move into the interview stage, remember you are not only trying to sell yourself but also trying to figure out if this company is going to be a place where you will be an asset and where you will feel comfortable. This article by Forbes has some great questions for you to ask. However, the article does not cover basics such as what the travel is like – for example, is 25% travel being out of town 1-2 nights per week or being out of town 3 months straight each year. When traveling, am I home on the weekend? Hopefully your recruiter has been able to provide you with this information. If not, inquire about these details so you have the full picture of what this position entails.
The second question asked in the Forbes article is a great one to ask! It can give you insight into how a company supports their employees.
“What’s the process for on-boarding employees, and how do you handle beginner mistakes?”
A candidate of mine asked this in a recent interview and the answer he received was that “we expect whoever we hire to be an expert in this area so that mistakes won’t happen.” Red Flag!
Another way to feel out company culture is to ask current employees why they enjoy working there and look at a company’s social media accounts or YouTube channel to see if there are any featured articles or videos that may give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work there.
It’s also crucial to many candidates that their workplace be a safe and healthy one. To find out how serious a potential employer will be about your safety you could ask questions like the following:
- What are the dangers of my job and how will I be protected?
- Are there any other hazards (noise, chemicals, etc.) that I should know about?
- Will I receive safety and emergency procedure training?
As with all questions that you ask pay attention to body language and how the question is answered. Are they spewing a memorized “company line” answer or do they seem to be genuinely answering based on their own experience? You may also request a plant or facility tour and keep an eye out for red flags.
In summary, I believe that if you do your homework and prepare well for your interview you can get a good idea of whether you will fit into a company’s culture before accepting a job offer.
About the Author:
This article is written by Lisa Reitz, former Recruiter at Automationtechies.
Catch her on LinkedIn.