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Ask These 3 Questions About Company Culture Before You Take the Job


During an interview, your potential future employer is checking out your education and skills to see if you are fit for the job. He is also thinking about how well you may fit in with the company culture. You, too, should learn about company culture before you accept. You can’t work where you aren’t comfortable and don’t fit in. Ask these questions to determine if you’ll be happy at your new job.

(Photo Credit: Michael of Scott/Flickr)

1. What’s It Like to Work Here?

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You may ask this question of the hiring manager during the interview, but if you get a chance to chat with employees at some point, ask them as well. Employees who are happy or content will likely have much to say. Pay attention not only to how open the employees are about company culture, but also what they say. Somebody who is hesitant to talk may be hiding something negative, and that can be a red flag. However, a current employee may be quite happy in the company culture, but describe a culture that would make you miserable. It is perfectly normal for different people to prefer different things, so ask yourself if you would be comfortable working in that company culture.

The break room often has good indications about company culture, so ask to see it if possible. Some break rooms may have a picture of the office softball team, others may have postings about classes at the local community college. Still others may have humorous posters on the wall. They all say something different about the atmosphere in company.

2. How Often Do People Work in Teams?

Before you ask this question, you need to know your own preference. There is no right or wrong answer. If you work best on your own, and the company has team meetings every morning, you may not feel comfortable or that your time is being best spent.

On the other hand, if you thrive in teams and want to work closely with others, you may stagnate in a lonely little office or cubicle in which you are expected to do your work and go home.

3. What Is the Employee Turnover Rate?

Be careful with this one. If you give the interviewer the impression that you are negative, you may not get the job. On the other hand, this is important information. Choose to ask about this after you have developed a good rapport with the interviewer. If the rate is high, ask why.

They may be looking for a good fit to decrease employee attrition, and you may be that good fit. Be diplomatic and respectful.

After the interview, take some time to reflect on how the interview went and how you felt in that office or workplace. Your feelings may be a reflection of how well you fit in with the company culture.

Tell Us What You Think

What is your company culture like? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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