What are the most important features of a job to you? Salary, benefits, and location probably rank pretty high but what about company culture? Company culture refers to the working environment, values, beliefs, and overall "feel" of an organization and it can make or break your experience with an employer.
Unlike other compensation measures, it can be hard to judge company culture from a job interview. This list will help you identify the best company culture for you.
If a company has a high rate of employee turnover it might not have a company culture that values loyalty and longevity. If employees stay for an average of five years, ten years, or longer - that's a better sign for company culture.
Keep in mind that if a company is still relatively new, you can't put the same weight on employee turnover. Also, if a company hires a lot of new college grads they may have higher turnover because younger employees are more likely to make career changes
Working in a diverse workplace
means working with people that come from different backgrounds and have different ideas and perspectives. Diversity helps a company solve problems, brainstorm innovative ideas, and ultimately grow as a group.
During an interview, you can also ask about whether the company has specific diversity initiatives.
You can ask "How would you describe the company leadership here?", or "What is the leadership structure here?" to get an idea of how leadership fits into the company culture. If current employees feel comfortable discussing issues with leadership that's a good indicator of communication and transparency, which is good for company culture
You may also want to know about the leadership structure to find out what your trajectory would be at the company. Are people promoted frequently? A company that rewards employees for their accomplishments encourages good company culture.
How did the interviewer(s) treat you during the process? How an employer treats a potential employee is a good preview of company culture. If you felt welcomed and comfortable during the interview, that's great! But if you felt the interviewer was trying to trip you up with certain questions, you might rethink working there.
The employer should be trying to impress you as much as you are trying to impress them
! Trust your gut when it comes to how the people made you feel during the interview.
Does the company offer opportunities for professional development, community service, and education? If so, that's a great sign for company culture. A company that supports an employee holistically invites good company culture and camaraderie. Be sure to ask about these types of opportunities during your interview
Finding the Best Company Culture
The best company culture is one that makes you feel supported and excited to go to work. So, as you start to research potential employers or attend interviews, think about these criteria.
Remember to ask questions to evaluate the company culture. And finally, think about how the interview made you feel. Could you imagine yourself working with the people you met?
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