Career advice

Finding a company that fits you

Finding a job you know you’ll love can be difficult enough without having to consider the people you’ll be working with and different types of office atmosphere. But if you don’t take the time to find out whether an organisation’s values align with your own, your dream job could end up being quite the opposite.
Many organisations now recognise the need to hire candidates that will thrive in their corporate culture, as well as being properly qualified for the job. You can use your interview as a chance to evaluate a company and your potential new boss.

What is corporate culture?

Corporate culture is: “the beliefs and ideas that a company has and the way in which they affect how it does business and how its employees behave,” according to Cambridge Dictionaries Online.

Why it’s important

  • You’ll be at your most productive when you’re not distracted by an atmosphere you’re not comfortable in.
  • Your professional growth may depend on being surrounded with likeminded individuals.
  • In many organisations there is an emphasis on team work at every level; if you don’t get on with your team it may affect your standard of work.

What do you like?

Before assessing a company’s corporate culture you need to decide what type of work place atmosphere you’ll enjoy operating in, while still being at your most productive. Some people might find it oppressive and highly pressurised working in an organisation that other people thrive in; it differs person to person.

What to look for

  • Browse the company’s website for clues. An interactive site and clear customer path is indicative of an organisation who value online customers and probably invest in their online marketing department, for example.
  • Is the office open plan, encouraging a sociable atmosphere? If so, it’s likely team work factors into everyday life there. An office full of cubicles, however, probably revolves much more around individual work.
  • Is the dress code formal? If you want to work in a creative atmosphere, you’d probably feel more comfortable if it isn’t compulsory to wear a suit.
One of the questions to ask in your interview should be along the lines of “what is the organisation’s mission?” The answer to this question may sound quite corporate, but if you read between the lines you should get a fair idea of what the hiring manager considers important in the process of reaching their goals. Do they emphasise the effect their employees have on the success of the business? Or does their answer revolve around financial gain? Of course, either of these answers might appeal to you, depending on what type of company culture you’re looking for.