Company culture can have a surprising impact on your satisfaction at work, as well as your home life. Many businesses understand this, like Google, which puts a massive emphasis on creating fun, rewarding work environments— with sleeping pods, on-site massage therapists, free employee meals and other amazing benefits to treat their employees.
While not every company is going to have Google-level perks, there are still many businesses who work hard to maintain praise-worthy cultures. From free snacks to “family” outings, these company’s create a sense of community amongst their employees, giving them the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.
Instead of asking your next interviewer, “What’s it like working here?,” branch out to unveil a company’s true culture with these powerful interview questions.
Before the Interview
Start off by poking around their website with a keen eye. Firstly, check out their About page. Is it all corporate lingo with no real connectivity? If they list core values, are they more than just one word lists— what’s truly important to their team? Look for that Team page Team page too and the faces behind their brand.
Wrap up your hunt by investigating their business’ social profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. What are they posting about? Do you see people? Get the opinion of some past employees too, by reading through their Glassdoor ratings.
Seize any opportunity you have to investigate their image online before agreeing to the interview. If the company shows viral signs of relatability and community, gear up for the interview with these eight powerful culture-centric questions:
1. What are some ways you incentivize or reward employees for a job well done?
After you land a big new client or crush a goal, what does the company do? If all they do is say “great job!” and slap another big project on you, there’s not really much motivating you forward to repeat all that hard work next time.
After a milestone is met, does management take the team out to lunch? Maybe your boss brings cake and balloons into the office or you tap a beer keg (you know a company has some serious culture if they have a beer keg!). When the team comes together and makes a big difference, this should be made known— amongst the company at large and down to each individual contributor.
2. What are some of the ways the company celebrates success?
This second question goes hand-in-hand with the first. Think of the “celebration” as the party and the “reward” as the neatly wrapped gift. Lead by asking the interviewer, “In my six-month review, what do you want to be congratulating me on?” This will help you establish a sense of what’s important to them and paint a picture of what type of work they value.
Then, don’t be afraid to be a little brazen by asking, once you hit that goal, what they’ll do to reward you. Do they give out hand-written thank you notes with a gift card? Maybe you could “win” a day off or the company uses an online point system to earn prizes.
A world full of work, work, work without genuine appreciation for a job well can demotivate employees and create a culture of resentment, not celebration or appreciation.
3. How flexible are you with x, y, z?
Sometimes the best cultures are also the most flexible, understanding that you have a life outside of work. Maybe you need to leave early to get the kids off the bus, but can start your day at 8 a.m. Or perhaps you simply work most efficiency in a couple hour increments instead of a full eight hour day, and want to clock in six days a week instead of five.
See if this company is willing to accommodate your unique learning or performance preferences. Usually, if you are a right fit for the team and the role, the company will do whatever they can to get you on board. Some companies even offer fun perks like “Work From Home Wednesdays” or company-wide policies that could fit your lifestyle and give you wider flexibility.
4. Would you say your coworkers consider each other to be friends?
How do their employees come together outside of work, if at all? Do they meet for happy hour once a month and chit-chat about their personal lives? Maybe you’ll ask the interviewer this question and discover one employee was his groomsman or that a group gathers every Tuesday for a bowling night.
If there’s clearly a stark separation between the office and home life, and you don’t get the impression that employees even like one another, the culture is probably a little dull.
5. What type of person hasn’t been a good fit for your company in the past?
Don’t be afraid to ask about turnover and find out what happened to the last person who did the job. By accessing who wasn’t a good fit for the role, you can better see what they’re looking for in a candidate.
Maybe they canned the last woman because she was always late or let the one guy go for stirring up office politics. You can learn a lot about the company not necessarily by who they hire, but who they fire.
6. How do you help employees grow in their careers?
Sure, you’re expected to perform your daily tasks at work, but look for a company who encourages self-growth inside of its culture. How will this job align you to hone new skills, not simply repeat the same tasks over and over?
Will they pay for you to take classes or get a special certification? Maybe they send employees to conferences or offer other ways to encourage learning and development.
Oftentimes, your final decision comes down to a gut feeling. Does the overall personality of the company match yours?
The problem is, traditional job boards don’t help you find the right culture fit. What if they had a personality algorithm that paired you with the ideal company— based on more than just job responsibilities and years of experience?
Here at GoGig, our personality profile lets us do just that. Get matched with a prospective employer based on your personality compatibility.
Your profile will only take a few minutes to fill out. Find the right culture fit by signing up, today— for FREE.