How to Uncover Company Culture

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Employees working gathered on a couch.

When you decide to look for a new job, you’re hoping for a few things. You hope the salary is in the range you want, and the work is rewarding. You also hope that your coworkers are easy to work with. Lastly, you hope the culture at the company is a good fit for you. The first three is are usually easy to find out. During the hiring process you will find out the pay, and likely meet some potential coworkers. Also, when you read the job description, it gives a pretty good idea of what your day will look like. Company culture, on the other hand, can be a challenge to discern. In today’s blog we’ll provide you with some techniques to get a feel for company culture before starting work. 

Sleuthing on Social Media

We’ll begin by breaking down some research you can do before landing an interview. As you can guess, the best way to find out about the culture is usually through social media. A great place to start with most companies is actually their Instagram account. In terms of social media, Instagram is newer on the scene, and has a more casual sentiment as opposed to Facebook or LinkedIn. Given this, most companies post ‘behind the scenes’ content on Instagram. These photos and videos give a great look into what the culture is like. If the company doesn’t have an Instagram account, you can also check their Facebook and Twitter. Typically most companies won’t post that type of content on LinkedIn, but it’s worth a shot! You also may consider checking out the reviews on Glassdoor. Glassdoor is a website that gathers allows employees to submit their salary numbers, and review their employers. Keep in mind however, some companies make their employees leave positive reviews, and employees who were let go may leave overly negative reviews- so take them with a grain of salt.

In addition to social media, sometimes a company’s website can also provide some insight. They may even have a specific ‘Culture’ section! If not, you can check the ‘About Us’ section. Most companies use this as an opportunity to describe their history and mission, but it may also contain some information about what it’s like to work there. Thankfully you can find a lot of information out online about most companies. This is a great way do some research, and find out what their culture is like at a glance. If you prefer to hear about the culture directly, you can ask later on in the process.

Inquire in the Interview

Once the hiring manager brings you in for an interview, it presents another opportunity to discover more about their culture. If you interview on site, take in your surroundings and survey the environment. Look around and see what most employees are doing. Are they quietly working, or engaging in conversation? Do they look engaged in their work, or are they just waiting to clock out? You can find out a lot by simply surveying the environment.

You can also find out more about the culture directly, when you sit down for an interview. Most interviews have a time built in towards the end where you’re able to flip the script and ask the interviewer questions. You can use this time to answer any questions you may have, and ask about the culture. If you feel comfortable, you can directly ask, but typically a more nuanced approach is the better option. A great way to approach the topic without being too straightforward is to ask, “What do you enjoy most about working here?” to whoever is interviewing you. At the very least you will find out what makes their day special, and get a glimpse at the overall culture. If the interviewer struggles to come up with an answer for you, you may want to reconsider if the job is right for you.

There are certainly enough resources available today that allow you to go into an interview with some idea of what the company culture is like. Social media is a great research tool for job seekers, and it’s smart to utilize it! Do you have any other methods you use to find out more about a company’s culture? If so comment below so others can use your advice!

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