9 tips to investigate the culture of a potential employer

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Company culture is broadly the personality of a company. When we fit the culture of the company we are working for there is a sense of much being right with the world. However, company culture means different things to different people.

So the first thing you need to do is define what a good company culture means to you. Is it about management style or the way the business treats its employees or the wider community, how career paths are determined, the hours, the dress code or the rewards and recognition? Try an online culture quiz to help clarify your preferences.

Once you have a clear vision of what you are after you need to go looking for it. So put your deerstalker hat on and start searching for clues:

Look Online:
1. Check out their website: how do they talk about themselves? How do they describe their employees?
2. Look at how they communicate on social media: what is their tone and does it appeal to you?
3. Read reviews from current and former employees on sites like Glassdoor.com

Start asking some questions:
4. Contact people who work there (through Facebook or LinkedIn). Keep your questions neutral so the employee doesn’t feel like they are gossiping. Try questions such as how did the company help you develop? Or what do you wish you had known when you started?
5. Talk to people who have left the company too to get a different perspective.
6. During your interview, again keep your questions neutral, but positive, such as ‘What sort of person does well here?’

See it in action:
7. Ask if you can walk through the office and get an idea of how serious, fun, professional or relaxed the environment is.
8. Or perhaps arrive early for your interview and spend some time watching how the employees interact.

Find out about the sub-culture too. The department you will work in may function very differently from the wider corporate community.
9. If you get the chance, speak to some of your potential colleagues about what is really important to the team or ask them to describe working at the company in 10 words.

If you want to do well in a company, you need to find somewhere you are going to be happy – you’re going to be spending a lot of time in that environment after all. So take some time to think about the kind of work culture you are looking for and find the company that embraces that culture.

Source: HN Global