5 Ways to Get the Scoop on a Company's Culture

Beer fridges. Unlimited PTO. Flexible hours.

Napping pods.

What is this place?!


Company culture took a backseat to job security and stability for decades, until the dawn of the open workspace and the early beginnings of a working millennial class. A coffee machine in the break room and the occasional donut used to be all the perks needed to ensure job satisfaction, but these days it feels like an employee needs to know that their workplace will be like a second home, whatever that means to them.

If company culture is a deal breaker, how are you supposed to evaluate it before accepting a job?

You can take their word for it, but no hiring manager will say their company culture is anything less than stellar. There are ways to find out what the space is like, what the people are like, what the company is like. And you won't have to wait until you work there to find out!

1) Look around

When you go to the office to interview, kick your peripheral vision into gear. Pay attention to what the workspaces look like and if people have personalized their desk areas. Notice if people are chatting or keeping to themselves. Do they smile at you as you pass? Work satisfaction is comprised of lots of little details, all of which become drastically important once an everyday issue.

2) Contact an employee

There are shifty ways to do this, and those should be avoided. Rather than cold contacting a current employee after you've interviewed and potentially making them feel cornered, ask the hiring manager if you could get contact information for a current employee. Even though they'll be on their best behavior, this person will likely be more straightforward than your interviewer about what's expected, as well as the current habits and trends of the office as a whole.

3) Ask

You're meeting with someone who will probably tell you everything's coming up roses at this company, but remember: you're interviewing them too. Ask about what it's like to work there. What's the day-to-day look like, do people leave on time, what do the employees do in their free time, etc. They're looking for someone who will fit in, so even if they talk up the free beer, food, and downstairs gym, they ultimately won't hire someone who isn't comfortable working late.

4) Glassdoor

There is nothing more informative than anonymous feedback. While there might be some truth to the idea that reviews are unreliable, Glassdoor seems to have captured honesty, with quite the range of responses, from current and past employees, and interviewees. Glassdoor doesn't review company culture on it's own, but sift through a few reviews and you're sure to find that you're looking for.

5) Social Media stalk

It sounds creepy... but we all do it. Why save the Instagram stalking for post-first date investigations, when you can bring the beloved habit into your professional life? Sniff around online, see what the company posts on social media. Do some Googling - maybe a blogger has visited the office or perhaps the company did some charity work or volunteering. All of this information gives you a better idea of what the culture is like, and what kind of people you're working with.

If you're really interested in company culture, the interviewers thoughts just might not be good enough. The only way to know what you're getting into is to investigate on your own. Good luck!

Posted: 8/14/2017 3:01:57 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments