5 Ways To Find Out If A Potential Workplace Has A Good Work Culture

. 5 min read . Written by Sanjana Bhagwat
5 Ways To Find Out If A Potential Workplace Has A Good Work Culture

Wouldn’t the job search process (and our work lives) be so much easier if companies had to provide candidates a detailed resume about themselves as well? Oh well. Until such a time comes, here are 5 ways you can do some digging on company cultures and make sure they’re a good match for you when job hunting!  

Have you ever accepted a job you thought would be perfect, only to find a work culture that is either toxic or simply not the right fit for you soon after? I have multiple friends who accepted job offers at big companies and popular brands, only to find that the workplace is nothing like they imagined it to be.

Being in a work culture that complements your goals and supports your well-being is vital to a successful career. Do your homework before you join a workplace. A little extra effort today when job searching can pay off hugely when you’re working!

So, here are a few ways you can know whether a potential workplace has a work culture that is right for you!

Ask Culture Fit Questions During The Interview 

Repeat after us – Interviews. Are. A. Two-way. Process!

Treat the interview as an opportunity to not only make a case for yourself but to determine the organisation’s culture fit for you as well. So, the next time a hiring manager asks you whether you have any questions for them during the interview, ask them questions that will help you get some insight into the company’s work culture.

Here are a few options that career experts and recruiters say are helpful culture fit questions to ask during an interview:

  • What are your company values?
  • What does work-life balance look like here?
  • How do you measure success? Over what time frame?
  • What was the last achievement the team celebrated?
  • What are your favourite things about working here?
  • What learning opportunities do you have for your employees?
  • What activities do you conduct to foster an employee-centric culture?

Or sometimes, even a straightforward, “How would you describe our company culture?” can easily give you the intel you’re looking for!

Analyse The Job Description 

Did you come across the opening through an online job posting? Pay close attention to how the job posting is worded.

The words used in job descriptions, and the requirements and responsibilities listed, can often reveal hints of the company’s work culture.

While some job postings display red flags outright and can be dismissed right away (“male candidates preferred”, “need to be prepared to work after midnight”, and other job requirement horrors), others may be less obvious.

Job descriptions that encourage hustling, an ability to be “quick on one’s feet”, “work well under pressure/ in stressful environments”, “wear multiple hats”, often tend to reflect a culture that doesn’t prioritise work-life balance.

Such sketchy keyphrases, mentions of only token perks like ‘happy hours’, and vague role descriptions can indicate an unhealthy or unstable work culture.

Check For A Clear Vision And Mission 

A positive company culture doesn’t leave any room for ambiguity for its employees, clients, or customers.  

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A good company will have its goals articulated, communicated with transparency, and reiterated in all its communication.

Check out the company’s website for its vision and mission statement. Go through the company’s website and social media to see if their values and goals come across consistently in their communication. Make sure these goals and values are something you connect with, or at the very least, agree with.

Do A Little Social Media Stalking

Put those social media stalking skills to good use before taking the job! Go through the company’s social media content. Instagram is a great place to see if their communication through their content matches with your beliefs. Their posts and activity on LinkedIn can often be very telling of the company culture.

Look at who the company’s employees are on LinkedIn and take a purposeful scroll through the employees’ social media profiles. How diverse is the company’s team? Do the employees post about their work? Do the co-workers interact with each other and seem to get along? Do their posts reflect a healthy life outside of work? Look for indicators of the kind of relationship they share with their job and the company. 

Also look for ex employees of the company on LinkedIn. Try to get in touch with them and ask about their experience at the company. Talk candidly about how you’re hoping to understand whether the company culture is a good fit for you, and encourage them to talk about their experience candidly as well. Give them assurance that the conversation will be completely confidential.  

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Check Job Review Boards Like Glassdoor 

Reviews from current and former employees will give you the most intimate insight into the organisation. The only drawback is that since the comments on job review boards like Glassdoor tend to be anonymous, you cannot count on them to always be accurate.

Nevertheless, go to these boards to look at the reviews. Reviews that point to a lack of diversity, no growth opportunities, discrimination, extreme workloads, etc. are all red flags. If multiple reviews point to the same red flag, the likelihood that they’re highlighting the reality of the company culture is high.

So, make your way through these 5 checkpoints before accepting any job!

Being in a work culture that complements your work style and personality can be a deciding factor in how happy, productive, and successful you are at the job. So, do your homework, get digging, and make sure the company’s work culture works for you!

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