Interview Questions to Ask Employers on Corporate Culture

When you take part in a job interview, you are not only looking to land the job, you’re also looking to fit in with the organization’s corporate culture. The truth is, as appealing and lucrative the job position might be, you won’t last long if you don’t fit in with the corporate culture. Think about the jobs that you quit. Chances are you had problems with the values, beliefs and attitudes floating around the office. They may have been too competitive for your taste, or too individualistic and less team-oriented. When you go to a job interview, you need to ask the employer interview questions on their corporate culture. This way, you’ll know if you can really see yourself working there.

The time to ask interview questions on corporate culture is towards the end of the job interview when the employer or hiring manager asks you if you have any questions. Deciphering the corporate culture of an organization may be easier for those that had employers state it upfront during the job interview or mentioned it in the job description. Plus, a lot of companies will have their core values posted in the office to remind employees of it, or you can find it on their website if you want to come prepared. If you’ve done your interview research and can’t find their cultural values, then this should be the first question you ask them in the job interview.

As with any job interview, you want to give them good interview questions that will really make them think and impress them. The Ladders states that a great question you can ask to learn more on their corporate culture is, “What’s the best part of working in this environment that I won’t pick up on just by walking around the office?” Interview questions like this challenge the interviewer to think about the way their company environment works on a daily basis, and how it impacts employee behavior in small and big ways.

Other interview questions you can ask involve seeing what the interviewer loves about working at the organization. It touches on a personal level for the interviewer, and it’s known that when it comes to talking about ourselves,we don’t hesitate. In fact, many people enjoy talking about themselves. This will also give you more insight into the corporate culture by finding out what keeps this employee coming back to work everyday- or what doesn’t. After a certain point in your career, you realize that a good salary won’t make you happy at your job; it’s the environment you work in that keeps you there for the long-term.

The more interview questions you ask on corporate culture, the better understanding of it you will have. If it’s possible, ask if you can speak to veteran employees or new hires. If this is allowed, then you can get a first-hand account of what it’s like to work there. You can also ask how frequent company or department meetings are. Some organizations do it weekly, every two weeks or once a month. It varies from company to company, and if they’re more frequent it means they really care about keeping the organization up to speed on what’s going on with all aspects of the organization, therefore creating more sense of a team. Also, the more you get to meet with the entire company, the more you get to know everyone in it. If they don’t meet too often, you’ll end up feeling isolated from people working in other departments.

So ask the right interview questions and start feeling out the company for corporate culture. At the end of the day, you’ll be very glad you had.

How do you interview a company or employer on corporate culture. Is it important to you, or not so much? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by opensourceway

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About Hanna Guerrero

Hannah is an intern writer here at Spark Hire. She is from the northern suburbs in Chicago and is currently studying journalism at DePaul University. She has always had a passion for writing which is why Journalism has proven to be the perfect career for her. She has written for the DePaulia Online on various topics such as fashion, music, movies and television. She loves living in Chicago because it offers exciting events to write stories on. In her free time she enjoys going to music concerts, watching movies with friends, cooking vegetarian food and walking her adorable Cocker Spaniel Coco.
  • kateg26

    I really enjoyed this post. Often when I’m at a job interview, I won’t know exactly what to say when the interviewer asks me if I have any questions. Now that I have some pointers, I’ll be better able to find a company that’s a good fit for me! I do have one question, though. Since today’s job market is so competitive, especially for recent graduates such as myself, I’ve found that if a company offers me a job, I really don’t have any choice but to accept. Do you have any advice about taking jobs even if the corporate culture’s not a good fit because you need to work somewhere?

    • http://www.sparkhire.com/ Spark Hire

      @kateg26 That’s a great question, Kate. In terms of being offered a job, you really need to think about what is important to you as a job seeker and future employee. If you absolutely despised coming into work everyday, would it start to affect your overall life happiness? Is a company’s culture truly that important to you, or is the nature of the job your top priority right now. In a tough job market, it can be difficult to get both- especially as a recent graduate. If you interview with a company and know you would be very unhappy there, then you should definitely pass it up. You may have to wait a bit longer, but a better opportunity will come along and you will be happy you stuck around for it.