Finding The Right Company Culture


Company culture can be described as many things. For many organizations, company culture is a well-crafted, carefully thought out way of operating on a day-to-day basis. These types of companies have an image to maintain and the end result is achieved by following the plan. The biggest problem in this particular instance is that it is not necessarily indicative of the REAL experience of working for the organization. Other companies operate day-to-day without any type of plan and the end result is extremely indicative of the reality of being an employee, sometimes for the best and other times for the absolute worst. The biggest hurdle for you as a job-seeker is how to identify the right company culture for yourself. We’ve outlined a few key items to help simplify the process for you.

  • Interaction During the Interview:
    • The initial interview with the company’s hiring manager is a great opportunity to get a true sense of the overall mood of the organization. The person interviewing you may or may not be your direct supervisor but either way this individual will provide a very true sense of the day-to-day work environment. Ask yourself these questions: Was this person on time to our appointment? Were you treated respectfully? Were the questions professional in nature?
  • The Environment:
    • Unless you are in a position where you are spending most, if not all, of your workday outside of a particular office or industrial environment, pay close attention to the actual work space. For some positions, outside sales as an example, the company’s breakroom, hallways and offices may not be as important. For others who will spend the majority of their waking hours in these spaces it is, or at least should be, a crucial part of the pre-employment checklist. If you find yourself extremely uncomfortable around wood-paneling and your potential employer has every surface coated in various fake-wood vinyl you may want to re-evaluate accepting the position. While that scenario is more unlikely than others, the point to remember is if you do not believe you will be comfortable in an environment prior to working in it, chances are you will not be a happy, productive employee after accepting the job.
  • The Employees:
    • There is absolutely no better window into an organization than its’ employees. What is the overall vibe or mood of the people who work here? Obviously, we’re all human and have our good days and bad days, but make note of the overall feel of the workplace. Speak to your potential co-workers. If they seem stressed or frantic, chances are it’s a stressful and frantic work environment. If they seem happy, productive and organized, guess what, chances are the company has solid leadership and a great overall plan in place.

Again, you’ve got to remember that the interview is not only about you presenting yourself in the best way possible but also when the potential employer should showcase themselves and the company as both being the right fit for a great employee.