You’ve snagged an interview for a new position you think you might like. The job description seems like it was written just for you, and you can also see new challenges and opportunities for growth ahead. As a bonus, the commute won’t be too bad. Congratulations! Those are all important factors in whether you’ll ultimately be satisfied in a new position. But something crucial is left out: culture fit. People are talking a lot about culture these days, and with good reason. Whether your potential new workplace is a good fit for you is vital to your day-to-day well-being, happiness, and life balance.
The good news is, it’s easier than ever to assess your fit with a new workplace before you accept that offer. Here’s how:
Glassdoor. It has become a job seeker’s secret weapon, with 33 million reviews of more than 700,000 companies, written by current and former employees who can post anonymously. Hop on Glassdoor before you accept an interview and you’ll get the good, the bad, and the ugly about your potential new workplace. You’ll also find information about things like benefits, average pay scale, and whether people approve of the CEO. It’s about finding out the company’s brand — not what it sells, but what it is at its core. How employees and customers are treated, how it handles problems and potential snags, how it handles layoffs.
The company website. Jump on the company’s website and do a deep dive. Look for company history, its values, its mission statement, and anything else you can find. The typical “About Us” section can be particularly useful in ferreting out culture. Oftentimes there’s a section that includes photos from events and other info about what it’s like to work there. You can also learn something from the tone of the website itself. Is there a blog? Read a few of the posts to get the tone. Is it casual and conversational, or buttoned up and formal?
Social media. The HR person at the company you’re interviewing with has already checked you out online. Do the same! What does the company’s presence look like in cyberspace? Are they friendly and engaging or do they use social media only to sell something or toot their own horn?
Keep your eyes open. When you arrive for the interview, take in your surroundings. Watch how employees interact with each other. Is there a friendly vibe? Are they wearing suits or jeans?
Ask questions in your interview. One great question for ferreting out culture fit: “What are the unwritten rules and norms here?” At one workplace, it might be: “Nobody leaves before the boss.” At another: “As long as you get your work done, we’re not sticklers about face time.”
By doing some research before you accept the job offer, you can walk into your new company feeling confident you’ll fit in. That, coupled with a challenging position that’s right for you, is a powerful combination for your engagement, happiness, and success on the job.