Assessing Company Culture During the Interview

There are several tried and true ways to assess company culture for a matching fit during the interview process. One way is to observe everything during the process. A second way is to ask! Take a few moments to read these easy suggestions for evaluating your fit with the company culture during an interview.

Observe your surroundings at every stage of the interview

  • As you wait in the lobby for the interview to begin, watch and listen. You are already well prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions, so use this time to get additional information for yourself.
  • Experience the company culture as you sit quietly, paying attention to details. What is the vibe you get from the receptionist and other employees? Do people seem happy to be at work? Are they friendly to you and with each other?
  • In addition to the vibe you get from people, what is the vibe you get from the environment? Are the furnishings and décor elegant with the old-world charm of antiques? Or is it modern with lots of glass and metal and open spaces where people meet and interact?

Ask about culture and how the position fits into that culture

  • In just about every scenario, the interview concludes with an opportunity for the job seeker to ask questions. Use this time to ask discerning questions and discuss the company culture.
  • Ask for specific examples of how the mission statement is implemented in the everyday goals of the company. Ask for examples of how this particular position embodies the company mission and culture. Specific examples provide a much clearer picture of the culture than a reiteration of the company’s mission statement.

Synthesize what you learn through these observations and interactions to help you decide if this is the right position for you and whether the company culture will allow you to provide relevant accomplishments and added value to the company. Armed with your research and your observations, you can make a decision based on facts.

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