The first step in figuring out a job’s culture fit is actually knowing what a company’s culture entails. According to Megan Nunan, Career Specialist at Ama La Vida, “Culture fit sums up all the ‘extras’ about a company that you can’t classify into one bucket. Things like do you align with their values, do you mesh well with those already hired at the firm, could you thrive in the current environment, etc.” Luckily, you can find much of this through your own research before the interview.
“There are a few things you can do to get a better sense of the company’s culture before your interview. First, read company reviews online,” says career coach Angela Copeland. You can also check the company’s career site and social media pages, Nunan adds. “Look at what they post about on social media, look at pictures of the office and people working there. These will all give you clues as to what they value and what the company’s culture is like,” she says. “It also never hurts to ask around — if you know someone that either works at the firm or knows someone that works there, taking them out for a quick coffee could be the best investment you’ll ever make in yourself.”
As you learn about a company’s values, work style, office environment, etc., you’ll want to think about how those match your own. That will also give you an idea of what points you’ll want to touch on during an interview. In order to do that, you may want to research some of the most commonly asked interview questions and think about how you plan on answering them. “There are an endless number of cultural fit questions like, ‘what kind of corporate environment do you thrive in, who was your best boss and why, what do you love about your current job,’” Nunan says. “The key to answering these successfully is to first take the time to reflect on the type of company culture that best suits you and then answer in a way that shows you’re intentional about your desire to work at this firm and that your values align nicely with those of the organization.” And remember: the more you rehearse the answers to those questions, the more comfortable you’ll be when it comes time for the actual interview.
When you show up for an interview, you want your outfit to be appropriate — but remember, “interview-appropriate” will have different meanings at different companies.
The clothes you wear may not be the number one criteria that your interviewers judge you against, but first impressions certainly do matter. A good rule of thumb is to dress just slightly nicer than everyday employees do.
The idea of having to ask questions in an interview can be stressful. It’s a great way to get a sense of how things operate day to day and, perhaps even more importantly, prove how you would fit in there. “Come in prepared with a list. What is their work/life balance, do employees usually socialize outside of work, does the company partake in community service, which type of people tend to be successful there, etc.,” Nunan says. “Your interviewer should answer honestly and give you a feel [of] what it’s really like to work there.”
Demonstrating culture fit is important, but even more important is finding a job and company that fit your life. After all, if you’re going to spend hours a week there, you’ll want to enjoy it. The perfect job and company are out there somewhere, so don’t feel like you need to force it. When you do find the right opportunity, you (and the interviewer) will know.
Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Center can be found at:
You can view the full original article by Emily Moore / GlassDoor, at: