Know the Culture Before You Accept the Job

Know the Culture Before You Accept the Job


When deciding whether to take a job or not, investigate the culture of the organization. Ask questions of the interviewer or others who know the institution. General ones like — “What’s the culture like?” or “Are people treated well?” — seldom work. You’re likely to get stock answers. Instead, ask questions that get at how the organization does business. For example, you could ask, “Are there special activities to promote teamwork? Are they voluntary?” Also, look around the office while you’re there.

The space itself my give you some clues about the culture. Is it orderly or disorderly? Is it a quiet atmosphere or a more jovial one?
There are no right answers of course. You’re just looking for a culture that will fit what you want.

Adapted from “To Investigate Culture, Ask the Right Questions” by Bill Barnett.

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