During a job interview, the company is looking for far more than verifying a list of qualifications. They want to meet you and determine if you’d be a ‘good fit’ for their team. At the same time, you’ll want to evaluate the company culture and decide whether or not it fits with your values and beliefs. Why is this so important as long as you do your job?
We spend many hours a day with our coworkers and while diversity is important to generate ideas and consider different perspectives, it’s imperative to consider the overall culture of an organization before accepting a position. Here are some things to consider when evaluating a company’s culture.
Culture is defined as the underlying beliefs and behaviors that drive an organization. It’s not only what they do, but how they do it. An organization’s culture can be revealed in its mission statement and core values. What competencies do they seek when recruiting employees? How do their employees live out that culture and can you see yourself feeling “at home” there?
If you are a strong proponent of work/life balance that includes flexible schedules or possible work-from-home options, you’ll want to work for a company that values the same thing. On the other hand, if you believe in working until the job gets done no matter how long it takes, you might get frustrated working at a company where the culture is to go home so you can recharge and come back to finish the next day.
Or maybe you’re the type of person who views your job as if you were running your own business. Some companies thrive on the entrepreneurial spirit of its workers while others value a more controlled approach.
Is it important for you to work for a company that values philanthropy and encourages its employees to volunteer or would you rather keep your job and volunteer opportunities separate? Is there alignment between your personal values and the organization’s?
What about wellness? Many companies offer wellness programs and encourage healthy lifestyles. Is this something that appeals to you or do you feel like your health is personal and you don’t really want the company you work for involved your health habits?
Think about what motivates you. Is it money? Is it time off? Is it knowing you’re doing the right thing? Take a look at the types of incentives the company offers and if they drive you to succeed. Are there sales bonuses? Do they sponsor vacations? How do they recognize a job well done?
These are just a few examples of values or behaviors that you might encounter during your job search. A good cultural fit leads to greater job satisfaction for you and greater retention for the employer. Once you find a job that meets your skills and your values, it truly becomes more than just a job, you’ve started a career.