Office work culture

Assessing a company’s culture and reputation before accepting the job offer

We ran a poll last week asking our followers and extended LinkedIn network; “What do professionals most look for in a company?” The responses were:

  • Company Culture/Reputation – 61%
  • Salary – 24%
  • Benefits – 13%
  • Others – 3%

Why are professionals and job seekers so involved in the company’s reputation and culture? A company’s reputation and culture matter a lot when it comes to attracting talent like yourself. A company’s reputation is what the public (including professionals and jobseekers) think of them and the culture is how employees feel about the company.

These days company culture can easily be measured and the information from employee review websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, etc.

So, what is the best way for you as a job seeker to assess a company’s culture and reputation before accepting a job offer?

  1. Determine your preferences: Figure out your preferences and priorities.
  • Is having a fun and casual workplace important to you?
  • Do you work best in teams or alone?
  • Do you thrive at a fast pace, or do you perform at your best when working on your own timeline?

2. Research the company: Make sure you do your own research ahead of time, starting with the company website.

  • Check out the tone of the website. Is it personal or straightforward and professional?
  • Read the company’s mission statement.
  • What is the company’s stance on work flexibility (usually written within the job description).
  • Check what the company’s values are and see if they’re aligned with your personal values. 3. Evaluate its online presence: Scour the company’s social platforms to understand their vibe. You can also assess any reviews about the company.
  •  Check out their posts for insight into the company’s values and sense of humour.
  • See how they’re portrayed in the media for an outside “perspective.
  • Check out employee reviews on sites like and Glassdoor.
  • If you have any contacts who are current or former employees, a quick phone call can help with insight.  4. Observe the work environment: If the job interview is in the company’s office, be sure to take some mental notes of what you see.
  • Are the workers dressed in business attire, or are they rocking jeans and tees?
  • Is the office divided into cubicles or is there more of a communal vibe?
  • If the interview is after the traditional 9 am – 5 pm, is a large percentage of the staff still there, or have most of them clocked out for the day? 5. Speak to recruiters: Talk to recruiters about a certain role or company and they can help you decipher whether the role/company is a good fit for you. 6. Ask questions: Most people are freaked out by the thought of asking questions in interviews, but in fact, most hiring managers appreciate an engaged conversation and value an inquisitive mind. So go on and ask that question!

Try a few questions like:

Qs for HR:

  • How is performance evaluated?
  • How are employees developed?
  • How does the company view flexible work arrangements?

Qs for your potential manager:

  • Are there defined career paths?
  • What do you feel are the most valued traits among the leaders here?
  • How are performance goals set?
  • How much work is done in teams vs individual work?

And question

Qs for peers

  • What drew you to this company?
  • What would you like to change about the working environment?
  • What do you like best about the working environment? 7. Put it all together: After collecting all of your information, consider your wants and needs and match them up with what the company can offer. Does it all fit together, or are there some red flags? Most of all, think about how you felt about interviewing with the company.

Most importantly finally ask yourself did you feel excited about potentially getting hired, or do you feel average about working for the business? Your gut instinct can be the biggest indicator of whether a company’s culture would be a good fit for you or not.

Blake Oliver Consulting is always openly here to discuss your concerns about whether a company you are applying for is the right fit for you.

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