Isn’t it all really pot luck? Sure you know the job, and you’re confident that you’ll be fine in that role. But what about the rest of it? What about the company culture? The values? And the other employees? Is the company really all it says it is? So, nothing is ever a guarantee, but there are ways of finding out a little bit more. There are some signs to look out for and some things you can do to see if this company will fit you right.
Perhaps finding the right fit at the office was not on Socrates’ mind when he said this, but the advice of the wise, old sage is definitely a good place to start in this case. What type of person are you? Do you get your energy from working in a team, or do you feel more motivated when you work on your own? What sort of personality do you have? Can you handle working in a formal atmosphere or will the conservative environment destroy your soul? To help with this exercise, try and think of moments when you felt most productive. What sort of atmosphere was it? Were you part of a team?
Once you understand a bit more about You, (no easy feat I can assure you and you may wish to enlist the help of former colleagues or close friends for this), then you can go on to the next step and list what you absolutely cannot do without at the workplace. What would be a deal breaker? Try thinking of what makes you happy – not only at work, but in your personal life. This should give you a good idea of what values you hold in high regard, and what areas of your life you’d like to prioritise. Will this company be able to support them?
Do your research
A quick scan on the company’s social media pages will already give you a pretty good idea of what type of company it is and if it can be the workplace you’ve always dreamed of. If you know anyone who worked or works there still, have a chat. Ask why they left, or what keeps them there. You could even speak to their suppliers and / or clients if you have the opportunity to do this, as they may show you a truer picture of the company’s personality.
During the interview, ask a few questions yourself. Ask questions about the person who previously held your position. Did they leave or get promoted? This will give you insight into whether the company encourages growth and supports its employees to find out where they excel. Ask how the company acknowledges employees’ performance, and think about whether this would be motivating for you.
Go on tour
The environment that employees work in is a huge part of the company culture. During the interview, scan the office. At the second interview you could ask for a tour or even if it’s possible to spend an hour or so there – just to get a feeling of the office vibe. Do the employees look engaged and happy? What is the dress code? If the interview is held remotely, you could arrange a time to go into the office and experience the place in person. Is the office quiet or is there the sound of colleague chit-chat? Is it an open plan office or are there individual cubicles? These are all signs of the company’s personality – is it compatible with yours?
The value of finding the right fit
If you do find the right fit, it is more valuable than any perk you could imagine. Being in sync with the company you work at will contribute enormously to your well-being and result in producing better work, hence greater satisfaction. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of this and many put a lot of effort into updating and improving their culture.
Good luck with your search and if you feel that you and the company you work for don’t fit well together, check out the latest active jobs here.