Evaluating Company Culture During an Interview

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – It is important to remember that the interview process is a two-way street with both the interviewer and interviewee evaluating one another. Both companies and candidates are responsible for accurately assessing a company-culture fit that can lead to success in the workplace.    

Multiple studies have confirmed that a company culture fit is crucial. According to a 2018 study by Robert Half, 91% of managers said a candidate’s fit with the organizational culture is equal to or more important than their skills and experience. Additionally, a recent study by Glassdoor says 77% of adults consider a company’s culture before applying.  

It is important for candidates to find a company that aligns with them as much as it does for a company to seek out the right candidate for the position. Evaluation can be an ongoing process to determine what working with the employer could potentially be like. 

How would a candidate determine if working for the company they interview with is the best fit? It begins with asking questions and diving into research on the company. 

It is important that candidates know what they are looking for. If a candidate is more likely to enjoy a work environment that encourages collaboration and work flexibility – they will likely be turned off by a company that is closed off and individualistic. 

According to BuiltIn, 47% of active job seekers cite company culture as their driving reason for looking for work. Asking specific questions can help candidates determine if a company’s culture aligns with personal values. For example, candidates may consider asking questions that are related to specific elements of the day-to-day workflow.  

Important topics to discuss: 

  • Work flexibility 
  • Work-life balance 
  • Culture events 
  • Professional development opportunities 
  • Employee review and feedback process 
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion 

Personal values are the puzzle piece to the way a person lives their life day in and day out. Values pave the path for important life decisions. It is vital when candidates interview, that they ask questions and understand a company’s culture. 

Company Research

Conducting research is essential to understanding a company’s values and mission. When researching, candidates are made aware of values through a website, blog, social media platform, and other factors. Candidates must remember that this representation of a company or brand is a glimpse of the culture and is not entirely representative of overall company culture.  

Connecting with Current Employees 

Candidates are starting to look beyond the traditional interview process and they are taking matters into their own hands. Candidates are understanding more and more that while the interview process gives a glimpse of what working at a company would look like, they need to do the work and dive into what current employees’ experiences look like. 

Candidates are connecting with current employers via LinkedIn or simply asking the interviewer to set up a quick discussion with an employee who currently works there. Speaking with an individual who works for the company is an opportunity for candidates to ask questions and truly understand from their perspective what working for that company looks like. 

Reflecting on the Interview 

After the interview, candidates may choose to reflect on their overall experience. What types of questions were the interviewer(s) asking? How was company culture displayed? Was the interview stressful and formal or relaxed and informal? What are the next steps? Is the company communicating openly and honestly? 

Answering these key questions can help a candidate determine if a company’s culture is a good fit.  

Overview 

Research shows that 60% of Americans would take a 50% pay cut for a job they love over a job they hated with double their income. Finding a solid match for both the candidate and the employer will leave both parties happy and propel career and personal success.  

Ultimately, to get a sense of a company’s culture, candidates need to ask specific questions, conduct company research, and connect with current employees. By doing these things, candidates can be assured they are accurately assessing the company culture of a potential employer.  

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