Taylor Wilson is CareerPlug’s Dedicated Account Specialist.
During the job search, figuring out whether your skills and knowledge base are right for a particular position is relatively easy. The job posting usually includes that information in the description and requirements section. What a job posting can’t tell you is if you will align with a company’s values and culture. According to a Millennial Branding study, 43 percent of HR professionals believe cultural fit is the most important quality job seekers can have during the hiring process. So once you schedule an interview, make the effort to do some investigative work to see if you are a cultural match.
Before the Interview:
A company’s website is a great resource for a multitude of reasons. It usually hosts the history of the company, number of employees, and information about the key players. Look to see what’s written on the website regarding a company’s mission or values. This will give you a direct look into what type of company they are striving to become.
Follow the company on Twitter and give them a Like on Facebook to see what type of content they share. Do they have a unique voice? Are they participating in trending industry discussions? These are the types of questions that will help you get a sense of who they are and how they portray themselves on a public platform.
Another tip is to use LinkedIn to search for any personal connections within the company. These can be great candidates to reach out to for informational interviews.
Websites like Glassdoor can help you discover the details of a company that you won’t find on their website. Glassdoor features reviews from current or former employees and can give you an insight into many issues within a company including the dynamics between management and the employees.
During the Interview
Office Space: Not every company is like Google…but you can tell if a company is making an effort to promote a positive work environment from their office. A company’s space and layout will depend on the type of work they do and what is appropriate to accomplish that work. The way they curate the space is how they can inspire company culture. Look to see if the office environment is inviting, comfortable, and collaborative. A company that promotes these values probably has employees that are happier and more excited to come into work.
Interviewer: Preparing for an interview includes thinking through answers to potential questions, but it also includes thinking of questions to ask your interviewer! Don’t be afraid to be direct and inquire about his or her take on the company culture. Ask what they like best about working for the company. Questions like this that are tailored to the company will give you a better sense of the culture.
During the process, you might find that a company’s core values and culture do not match yours and that is ok! If you think about how much time you will spend at work (or thinking about work), taking the time to discover if you will fit within a company is a very valuable thing.
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