A big part of enjoying a job is ensuring that there is a good fit between you and the organization. In this video, we outline a few steps you can take to start assessing an organization's culture.
Want a few more resources and ideas? Consider the following:
Identify what’s important to you
Whether it’s work/life balance, a casual dress code, or an open office layout, take some time to think about the factors that help you work at your best. Go back to the list in our article, Should you go after that job? Tips for analyzing organizational culture and fit. For each point, think about what it was like at the places you’ve worked or volunteered. What factors were present in the places in which you most thrived? Which of those factors would make an organization appealing to you now? Also, make self-reflection a regular part of your search and career so you always know what you need.
Discover the organization’s “personality” and priorities
You can start doing this from the first time your read through the job description. What does it convey about the organization? Is it written in plain, generic language, or does it have a sassy, humorous tone? Review the organization’s website and staff bios in the same manner. An even more powerful way to research the organization is to reach out to people who currently or previously worked there. The strategies outlined in our article on how to create a targeted employer list can help you do additional research on an organization.
Make the most of your interview
You’ve made it to the interview, now use your insider advantage to gain more clues! Start with simple observations: Are employees engaged with each other and how? Are their interactions strained or warm with witty banter? Use your interview to ask questions about the work and culture. Will you work as a team? What does your interviewer like best about working there? What opportunities exist for training, development, professional growth, and promotions at the organization? Check out this list of interview questions you should consider asking to get a sense of the organization's culture.
As you analyze these details, you may find other factors make an impression on you and your work. Add them to your list and be proactive about locating organizations that fit your “wishlist” items for a good organizational and cultural fit.
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By Victoria Crispo