Hitting the want ads
The process of getting a new job can be a long and winding road of feeling out different job descriptions and interviews to see what will be a good fit. Once you’ve found an open position that suits you and you’re on the path for interviewing, it is important to learn as much as you can about a company’s culture. Not only does this help you prepare for the interview, but it also gives you insight into whether or not you fit in with the company’s goals and values.
Before actually beginning any research, it is helpful to sit down and ask yourself what it is you’re looking for from a company. Do you want something more formal or more casual? Do you want Theory X, Y, or Z? This way you have it in mind what it is you should be looking for.
Doing cultural research
The natural first step in this research is to visit the company’s website. By reading through their mission statement, about us section, and their accolades, you begin to get a sense of what they’re all about. Now, obviously any company is going to put only positive information on their website, so it’s important to keep digging to see what other information you’re able to find.
The next way to do this is to look at a company’s social media presence.
By seeing how they interact with their audience online, you can get more of an indication as to what their communicative values are.
By examining both the website and the social media, keep an eye out for key words that give insight to their culture, such as: teamwork, motivation, communication, etc. But, better yet, be sure to look for specific words that you yourself value.
Get to know the employees
By looking through both the website and their social media accounts, find out who founded the company, who is the current CEO, and who it is that you’ll be reporting to. You can then search their profiles on LinkedIn to get a sense of their work histories and see what common characteristics they may have. This can give you some intel about the personality of the company.
You can also Google any articles written about the company, or sift through Glassdoor reviews if that’s at your disposal. It may also benefit to look through the websites/social media of any competitors to see how they may vary.
Take advantage of time for questions
Knowing as much as you can about the company and its culture is a key to a successful interview. You can then take the opportunity to ask about the company’s culture, and get it straight from the mouths of those ingratiated within.