Of course, you have to ensure you have the technical qualifications for the job you are seeking, but you also want to ensure you will fit in with the culture. After all, you spend approximately a third of your waking hours at work, so you want it to be a place where you are comfortable spending time. Here are some questions to ask during your interview to help ensure you’ll feel at home.
1. What’s your employee attrition rate?
Okay, you don’t have to ask this straight-up, but you can allude to it through questions like, “How long have you worked here? Have most of your colleagues been here that long as well?” If there is high turnover, it’s likely that there are problems with their culture. Office drama between colleagues, a lack of voice, bad management, etc. can all contribute to making people leave the company quickly. And a place where people are constantly trying to exit is not one you want to enter.
2. How often are new ideas pitched and discussed in your office?
With this question, you can find out the level of input you’d be able to make depending on your level or rank within the company. Can you, as a marketer, sit in on a product meeting? Can you provide input on marketing issues?
One quick way to discover how collaborative an environment is, is to see how your interviewer answers the “ideas” question. And it’s a much more pointed way to learn the truth than by asking “How team oriented are you?”
3. What position did you have when you first joined? How have you grown?
If growth and new opportunities are what you’re after, make sure you don’t end up at a dead-end job. If you want the chance to move up and take on new responsibilities, this is your chance to ensure you’re not looking for yet another new job a year or two down the road.
4. How do you measure success in your office?
Are metrics focused on time spent in the office or results achieved? This could be a tough one to answer but could give you insight into the degree of freedom offered as well as the challenges and responsibilities available.
5. What is your review process like?
How often do reviews occur? Does only your superior conduct the review or do they solicit feedback from peers and others? What about weekly or monthly 1 on 1 meetings with your supervisor? It’s a good idea to understand what the review process is and how you can solicit and provide feedback.
What other aspects of company culture and office behavior are important to you? Most companies that care about culture will give you clues about it on their site. For example, some company websites include a blog about their values. A quick search before the interview should give you all the clues you need to build personalized company culture interview questions.
This is your chance to show them that you’ve invested the time to really get to know them and that you’re excited to learn more! What does it mean when they say they “value change”? What’s their motivation behind team outings?
At the end of the day, it’s about getting to know yourself and what you want out of a job. What will make you happy even after the honeymoon phase is over? If you’re able to answer that, then you’re already halfway there to finding a company that’s the right culture match for you!