How to Research Company Culture Before the Interview

A bad fit with company culture can make a great job a miserable job. So do your homework and identify companies that have a mission that you can agree with and that treat their employees in the way you want to be treated. Remember, in every interaction, just as the hiring manager is interviewing you to see if you can handle the responsibilities of the position, you are interviewing the hiring manager and the company to ensure a good fit with their culture.

Use the Internet to research the company.

There are review sites such as Glassdoor and Vault that provide information about companies. These sites will include reviews from current and former employees that provides information about corporate culture.

But don’t stop there – research the company through the company website. Look for information about employees and their roles within the company. If there are employee pictures, look at them closely. Do all the pictures depict work settings? Does it show the employee working alone or in groups? Do some of the pictures show social gatherings such as picnics or games? Use these pictures and information to help complete a full image of the company and its culture.

Use LinkedIn and social media to connect with the company.

In today’s culture, any company that is not active on social media is probably not a company you want to work for, so check out Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media to get a feel for the company. A company that actively engages with its target audience will provide a great deal of information through these channels to a discerning job seeker.

Connect with people who work there.

Just as you can learn about the company through LinkedIn and social media, you can create a network and connect with current and former employees on LinkedIn. As you research on LinkedIn, you will find first- and second-degree contacts who have some connection to the company. You can reach out to these people to connect through LinkedIn or network in the way that best fits your needs.

Informational interviewing is another great way to connect and build your network. Identify current or past employees and connect with them. Contact them through social media, email or a phone call and ask for advice. Everyone loves to give advice. Be honest in your goal, tell your contact that you are interested in applying with their current or former company. If they are willing to help, ask general and specific questions that will help you understand the company culture.

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