How to Know if You’re a Cultural Fit

Few things are as demoralizing as landing a job you thought would be a dream come true, only to find yourself absolutely miserable 90 days in. The biggest reason why employees choose to leave a new job within one year is cultural misalignment. If your values do not align with the organization’s values, if your approach to work clashes with your manager’s style, or if you just don’t fit in, you won’t be happy or successful on the job.  That’s why it’s so important to focus on culture during the interview process. Use these strategies in your job search to better understand cultural fit.

Know What You Want

The first step in ensuring cultural fit is to know what you’re looking for from an employer. Sit down and ask yourself things like:

  • What type of management style do I prefer?
  • In what type of work environment do I do my best work?
  • What type of team structure do I like?
  • How important is employer-supported career development?
  • What did I like about the best job I ever had?
  • What did I hate about the worst job I ever had?
  • What are the three most important things an employer should do for me?

Research Company Culture Every Time

You can save yourself a lot of wasted time by researching company culture before you even apply for a job and determining how it fits with the priorities you identified for yourself. For example, if you prefer a laid-back environment with no dress code and a non-hierarchical structure, you likely wouldn’t thrive in the corporate culture of a Fortune 100 company.

Study the company’s website and social media profiles and look them up on Glassdoor to get a feel for what it might be like to work there.  Twenty minutes of digging could save you from ultimately landing a job you don’t like.

Ask Great Questions During Interviews

Remember, interviews are more than just a chance for the company to evaluate you. It is also a chance for you to evaluate the company, so use the time to your advantage. When you’re handed the floor to ask questions, use the opportunity to really dig into culture. Consider posing questions like:

  • What do you like best about the culture here?
  • What do you like least about the culture here?
  • What is the management style of the person I’d be reporting to?
  • What are the challenges facing the team I’d be working on?
  • Why is this role vacant?
  • How does the company reward success?
  • How does the company support work-life balance for employees?
  • Would it be possible to take a tour of the workspace?

Are You Looking for Tech Jobs in Chicago?

If you are a talented professional seeking new IT job opportunities in Chicago, work with the recruiters at CultureFit. We can connect you with opportunities where you will feel culturally aligned. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.