Your job is more than just a place you go and work for 8+ hours a day. You have to deal with coworkers, bosses, deadlines and a top-down corporate culture that we too often forget about until it rubs us the wrong way. Struggling to thrive in a company culture can become pretty toxic pretty quickly. So how do you recognise if you’re a right cultural fit for a business?
Being the right cultural fit could be worth more than your ability in the role
This article, from Alan Henry, suggests that interviewers are eager to see if candidates are the sort of fit for their working environment. It’s vital that you do your research before showing up for the interview. Often employers may hire someone based on the cultural fit rather than the skills of the candidate.
So what is a company culture?
“The values and behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation” as defined by the Business Dictionary, to put it simply, it’s the way we do things around here. Company culture looks into how businesses operate internally, things like dress code, values and even how a company office presents themselves can say a lot about a company culture. Traditional businesses may structure their offices with rows of desks, whereas modern cultures will style their offices to suit the needs of their employees, which include a ‘chill out’ area and even a ping pong table or two.
You love a company but how can you find out if you’re the right cultural fit?
- Do your homework
The easiest way to identify a company culture is to follow your dream firm on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, these are all perfect platforms to identify what events companies run, both internally and externally. Checking out recent posts on social sites can give you a great understanding of the company’s activities, team outings, published content and latest news coverage.
2. Take it all in
If you’re in an interview process currently, it’s worth taking in the surroundings whilst you’re sat waiting for your interview. If you’re exposed to the office keep an eye out for connotations of a more casual or strict company culture. Do they have a fridge in the corner with complimentary cokes and beers or do they have a tables and chairs for strictly lunches only as they don’t allow employees to eat at their desks? Compare that with your mindset, are you more of an innovative and open-minded candidate? Alternatively, do you prefer an efficient and more traditional style of office? Either preference isn’t right nor wrong. We’re all different in the way we work and it’s nothing to be worried about!
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3. Use the company itself
Companies may display their core values on their website. Take time to learn what employers do to incorporate their values for their employees. A fantastic way to impress at your interview is to adapt yourself to the company’s culture. To do this assess how they speak on social media and try adapting yourself to that style of language.
If you can make contact with someone who works or has worked at the company, it’s a great opportunity to ask about what life on the inside is really like. If they currently work there, there could be a chance they will put in a good word in for you or submit you as a referral. Don’t just blindly message employees on LinkedIn, be strategic. Send them a message and let them know you’re interested in the company, then ask questions around what the corporate culture is like. It’s daring, but most people will have something interesting to say about their job or office
4. Check out the company on Glassdoor
Take the reviews you see there with a slight pinch of salt, if you see common trends with the reviews, you’ll know what to watch out for. If everyone leaving a company moans about how the benefits don’t make up for the long stressful hours you put in, you know what you’re being put in for. Crisps and hummus are tasty but dinner and time with your family is tastier!
It’s all about you
Overall, to fit in at a company it’s all about you. Make the most of your recruiter, ask what exactly the company’s culture is like. You can also do your own homework within any interviews you may have, the one question that usually comes up in every interview is towards the end “do you have any questions for us?” This is a great opportunity to learn a lot about the company culture, ask questions that get answers that you couldn’t get from typing them in on Google. Here are a couple key pointers to remember:
- Find out as much as possible about the hiring manager, department or interviewer
- Ask specifically about the corporate culture
- Ask what its means to be a team player here
When you have all of the information you need, try to put together a mental picture of what your day to day experience would be like, not just with regard to the work you’ll be doing but where you could be sitting, the office environment and how you will fit in.
Good luck finding your fit!
Are you an EA, PA, or business support professional looking to take your career to the next level? Executive Partnerships can help. We’re a specialist recruitment agency working with leading companies and organisations to connect them with talented staff. Learn more at https://www.executivepartnerships.co.uk/.