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Four tips to gauge company culture before you take the job

Four tips to gauge company culture before you take the job

So how do you know what sort of culture a workplace has?  The trick is to try to research through the application process to get a feel for the environment and the nature of the job. You can start this research before you even apply. 

Do your research before the interview: 

  • Ask around. If you know people in the industry, ask them if they know of the business you are applying to. 
  • Check out their social media accounts. Is there lots of team building, and championing of team members or is it product and service-focused? While LinkedIn is a professional account, Facebook is a social account and a great platform for showcasing the business as well as the team and culture of the organisation.

Are there signs of toxicity during the interview? 

  • Alarm bells should start ringing if there is any bagging of colleagues, the management or the company as a whole.
  • If there is more than one person in the interview, how is the body language and communication between the two interviewers? 
  • Are you provided with a good opportunity to answer questions or are you continually interrupted?
  • If you are given a tour of the premises or even if you are making your way into the interview room observe how people interact with each other.

Company culture questions:

Ask about the company culture during the interview. If answers are brushed over or not satisfactory, it may be a warning sign, but remember to give the interviewer a chance to answer.

  • What qualities do you look for in your team? 
  • How do support professional development?
  • How do you celebrate wins and tackle disappointments?
  • How do you support diversity?

How do you tell if this is a high-pressure environment?

If you are a chef, then you will already know from your training you may be going into a work environment that has high-pressure moments, but what if it isn’t that clear cut?
  • Study the job description closely - there may be hints like, ‘you need to be able to multitask' or ‘handle a variety of work at pace’.  The advert might even say this is a ‘fast-paced environment’.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask in the interview what the pressure points are and if there is a lot of extra hours to keep up with the workload.
  • Think about how the nature of the work may be affected by busy times of the day, month, or season. 
  • Think about how you react under pressure.  Will you thrive or will you burn out in a high-pressure environment? 

Avoid a toxic environment at all costs, if you know you don’t work well under pressure, avoid a high-pressure career, and if you are not sure what the difference between high pressure and toxic environments is, read here.