A company’s culture is defined by everything – from how employees interact with each other to what behaviors are rewarded.

For instance, a company might encourage employees to fight for their ideas, or employees might get quarterly bonuses based on their ability to meet deadlines. On the other hand, companies might try to avoid disagreements at all costs and meeting deadlines is simply expected, not rewarded.

To job seekers, a company’s culture is important because it’s a big factor in job satisfaction. For example, if you are a person who needs structure and constant direction, you won’t like working in a place where employees are left alone to do their work.

With that in mind, here are a few interview questions you can use to determine if a company’s culture is a good match for your personality:

What is it like around here during the busiest time of year?

It’s easy to have a fun, inspiring culture when there aren’t mountains of work to do. It’s when the going gets tough that you really find out what people, and a company, are made of.

In response to this question, you might hear stories about long hours and how employees deal with those long days. Or, you might find out: “We’re always busy.”

If your interviewer doesn’t volunteer the information, follow up on this question by asking how people deal with the busy times. This can provide insight into the support and collaboration that go on inside the company.

How often do you hold staff meetings?

This appears to be a benign question about office routines, but it can tell you a great deal about the degree of communication among coworkers and managers. Finding out about the regularity of staff meetings also reveals how frequently you may be doing work by yourself as opposed to as part of a team.

Also, take note of answers like “on an as needed basis” that suggests you don’t wouldn’t meet up much as a group, and will probably work mostly independently. This type of response could also indicate supervisors will be getting updates from you whenever they pass your workstation.

What do people usually do for lunch?

This one might be a bit odd to ask as part of the formal interview session, but could be asked before or after the interview.

You can tell a lot by finding out the lunch preferences of the people you could be working with. For instance, if there’s a group of people who like checking out the latest restaurant or food truck, it speaks to something everyone has an interest in – food trends – and a group mentality.

On the other hand, if everyone eats lunch at their desk, it underlines a culture of individuality at the company.

What are the main stops on the company tour?

Most companies give tours of their facilities, and the tour stops are typically the parts of the company that are the most interesting or generate the most pride in the workforce. If the tour stops don’t interest you much, you may not be the best cultural fit for this organization.

At Action Group Staffing, we help job seekers find job opportunities that match both their career goals and cultural priorities. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help your career.

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