News & Events

Ways to Get the Real Scoop on a Company’s Culture


Employment & Learning

It goes without saying that there are plenty of organizations known wide and far for how amazing they are to work for, but what do you do if you’re in the running for a job at a company you know little about? How do you get the low-down on culture before you even walk into your first interview? Here is how you can sleuth out the situation before you get the interview:

Ask Current or Former Employees

It’s pretty much always wise to hunt down a friend, former colleague, friend of a friend, neighbor or relative who currently works at a company of interest. (Or, if you don’t know anyone, initiate a conversation via LinkedIn)/ Ask well-thought-out, specific questions, not just, “Hey, what’s XYZ Company like?” Instead, go with something like, “I saw that the company is moving its Nipawin plant to Weyburn. What’s the impact of this on your team?” Just remember to keep your conversation positive and professional—especially if you don’t know this person well (or really at all). He or she could end up being a great internal reference for you. People who no longer work there are sometimes more willing to be candid and give you the straight skinny on the good, the bad and the ugly than a current team member will be.

See if There’s Online Buzz

The most obvious instinct to have when researching companies of interest is to go right to the organization’s website or LinkedIn page. This is certainly a sound move, but keep in mind that the company’s marketing team and executives likely control the messaging on these sites (deliberately and strategically). You may find stronger hints related to company culture if you dig around on the firm’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, and other message boards and forums

Study Recent News Events

Do some research to see if anything of note has been going on at that firm of late. Any recent acquisitions, layoffs, or vague “we’re restructuring” press releases? Have any company leaders made news recently? For what? Change (even good change) has a way of shaking up mood and culture inside of organizations.

You’ll be in an even better position to study people and assess mood and environment once you arrive or your interview, but don’t squander the opportunity to sleuth out company culture

Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Center can be found at:

Employment & Learning


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