Many people feel burned up at their jobs because before joining, their company looked well on the surface but later on they realized how terrible the culture is in some sort or the other. A wise (or say experienced) employee once advised that even if a person is in dearth of a job, he must never settle for working at a company with a poor culture. I would here like to add that no culture is good or bad, it’s just whether a candidate would ideally fit in it or it. So, culture is all about adaption & fitness and that’s what you have to uncover.
As I promised in the title to uncover the secret to identify any company’s culture, I would like to suggest you to find answers for few questions. Before you get to their answers, understand that no answer is “right”. Every person has different preferences related to work environment, so with the answers to such questions, you have to identify what would fit your requirements and preferences. But before you get into finding answers to the questions, do not forget to define what exactly is company culture for you.
- Ask few questions to the employees (2 or 3) about what they enjoy working about in this company.
- At the interview day, ask the HR to let you have a quick walk inside the company. Observe laughs & smiles, as they express a lot about company’s work environment.
- If you are replacing a person, talk to him about what went well and what could have done better.
- Look up for company’s reviews online by current or former employees.
- Talk about behaviors which are rewarded and which are punished.
- Find out events that company holds for employees. Is there just one annual party or monthly opportunities to celebrate with co-workers?
- Identify if it is ‘we have always done it like this’ company, or a company that appreciates innovation.
- Find out if the company offers reimbursement or support for training, seminars, or college tuition. Companies which value smart employees do this to motivate their employees to upgrade their skills.
Once you are done with your research and get the answers to all these questions, you have to think whether you’ll fit in the work culture or not. While deciding that, you have to remember that your objective is to get convincing reasons for why you want to work at the company. You should jot down points what makes the company unique. This would surely help you to uncover the company culture and identify whether you would fit in it or not.