That company looks cool, but is it really where you want to be?

Carolyn Dorsey | Coordinator

You’re looking for another job and just got called for an interview at a place that looks great from the outside. You’ve checked the Glassdoor reviews and it isn’t clear cut. How do you figure out if you want THAT organization to be your next career move?

As scary as it is to possibly go from a bad place to worse, there are ways to get a good feel for an organization’s culture before making a leap. Culture is the organization’s “personality” and it’s the most important thing you’ll need to understand in determining if the jump is worth the risk. Your interview will be the perfect opportunity to take their measure. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, you sure do!

1. Do they promote personal and professional growth?
-Do they offer training, and what type? Is it in house; online; off-site; at conferences? Do they pay for it or expect you to pay? Are you provided work time to do it or must it be on your own time?
-Do they promote from within?
-Do they provide opportunity to move around within the organization? Are they open to or promote cross training or experiences?

2. Can your interviewer tell you what the mission of the company is? And does he or she seem passionate about it? Is it a mission you can be passionate about?

3. Are they transparent about their goals? Can your interviewer give you a good understanding? Can he or she talk about how the organization works to achieve those goals? Is good performance recognized and celebrated?

4. Look around the workplace. What kinds of things do they have on the walls? Generic art, or encouragement to achieve the mission and celebrations of accomplishments?

5. What kinds of things do they do to encourage loyalty? How do they bring new people on board? What kinds of programs and employee outreach are in place?

These are just a few of the things that are good barometers for company culture. Keep your eyes and ears open for more than just salary and ping pong tables. If a company has put effort into their culture, it’s referenced in many ways, and employee excitement and loyalty will be easy to spot.