Once your basic salary and location needs are met, there are three big areas to weighing up at a new role, the job, the team and the company.
Culture plays a big role in all three. It is not just free perks, and can ultimately be the difference between a bad and a great experience.
So what is culture, and what questions are good to ask in an interview to find your dream fit? We’ve been chatting to a bunch of employers to help you bridge the gap. Here are a few to consider:
Culture is Team
You gotta know who you’re working with. You spend more time with these people than many of your mates, maybe even your dog.
Question 1. Could you tell me how the team is made up?
Question 2. How is team activity co-ordinated, do you work together toward a shared goal, or is the team split into smaller projects?
“A lot of thought goes into the balance and diversity of both experience and skills – we don’t want our thinking to be constrained.” – TEG
Culture is Progression
Progression is not just promotion. When you work for a great company you can learn from every day – if this is important to you, make sure you check it off the list.
Question 3. What opportunities will I have to develop my skills? Can you talk me through some of the activities others in the team do?
Question 4. Where will I have the opportunity to progress over the next few years, I’m looking for long-term career growth.
“Our growth is dependent on knowledgeable and experienced reps in the business, we are keen to see our staff progress to the next role and we are transparent on how that is achieved so there is no black box or politics.” – Qualtrics
Culture is Values
Values are not just some fluffy words, companies that believe in their values apply them to every single decision that is made within the company. Job fulfilment is often directly connected to a shared belief in a set of values. Make sure you read the companies prior to the interview.
Question 5. Can you sum up how the company values shape your hiring considerations, how do employees shape the values?
Question 6. How do you see employees being able to contribute to the companies values?
“We ask a lot of situational type questions to uncover how they have dealt with particular scenarios in the past to gain insight into their approach. Our guiding light always comes back to our values” – AdRoll
Culture is Vision
Essentially, what’s the point? A job should not jus be a checklist of activities to take a paycheck at the end of the month if you want to take your career to the next level, find a company with a vision and mission that you truly buy into.
Question 7. What are your 6-month goals for the company and your department?
Question 8. How do you see my role being a key support to help you get there? Where can I add value beyond the daily activities?
“Our industry is so dynamic, in such an early state of maturity and is so specialized that to excel the most important trait for us is a genuine thirst for knowledge, a true hunger to learn and an ability to think on one’s feet.” – Accordant
Culture is Personality
Start up culture, or tech culture doesn’t quite cut it. Is it a scrappy team, is it a process driven team? Is banter important to you, or maybe autonomy? Make sure you find a role that suits your way of working.
Question 9. How would you sum up the personality of the team, what type of people are successful here?
Question 10. Do you believe in a more hands-off autonomous approach or working closely together daily?
“We want smart, passionate people who enjoy sharing their knowledge and are not arrogant in their interactions with others. We look for those who think differently and bring diverse perspectives.” – hipages
Culture is perks
When push comes to shove, the shiny stuff matters too. There’s no harm in exploring the material perks the company has to offer, organisations are normally proud to shout about their perks.
Question 11. If you are an individual driven by targets and goals, there’s one simple question – How is success rewarded in the company?
Question 12. What sort of company initiatives occur each month?
“Benefits are important too, having company provided breakfasts and lunches gives me an extra opportunity to socialise with colleagues.” – Engineer at Canva
Looking for more interview tips? Check out some common behavioural interview questions and how to answer them.
Your free Sept calendar to tell authentic employee, student & grad stories:
Gather authentic, real stories at epic scale on CSR, Environment, Diversity, Learning to humanize your company or university & celebrate inner voices