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How do you get a sense of a culture?

I am curious to know what questions you have found helpful when interviewing with a prospective employer in order to gain a sense of company culture? Also how do you really find out what your future boss is like to work for when everyone is putting on their happy face during an interview?


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Interviews are just part of the process. Culture should reflect on how you were treated as a candidate from the start of the process. You also have to be observant the moment you park your car in the carpark, the moment you step into the office and people's behaviour while you are there. In short, don't focus (as far as getting to understand the culture) on the interview but what is happening around you. Also, some companies allow day tag alongs and meeting sit ins. This are usually reserved for the last two candidates (or last) to make sure that they really want to join the team.

Any review customer forums/boards will give you an insight of how they treat their clients/customers. This is a good indication of how they treat their employees and the overall culture of the companies.

If you are really hell bent on getting info, try getting feedback from EX employees. Glassdoor is a nice resource or contacting them through LinkedIn.

(Controller) |

Great suggestions. Thank you.

John P. Martin
Title: Analyst - Finance
Company: Own
(Analyst - Finance, Own) |

I agree with @EmersonGalfo, and his comments. I would echo his last comment. In addition to using Glassdoor, another technique that you can use (and I have used) is tapping your network to see if they know anyone who is either currently working at or have worked at the firm you are interviewing with. This is a good way to obtain information about the company culture, the hiring process, the people they work/have worked with and if you’re lucky, information about the manager you may be reporting to. Then of course, similar questions during an interview.

John P. Martin

Bob Dupree
Title: IT Global Senior Project Manager/PMO
Company: Tronox
(IT Global Senior Project Manager/PMO, Tronox) |

Totally agree with what has been stated above. From the moment you walk into the building, if time allows, begin with the receptionist asking just general questions. When being interviewed by multiple people ask each one about the culture. Do they all jive with each other? Use LinkedIn to see if you know anyone there. Use Glass door as well, although as your last option. Note, we all have opinions and sometimes they are just that, personal opinions, which may or may not be the opinions of others....Culture is HUGE and should not be minimized. You need to be happy, challenged and love where you go each day or it isn't where you should be.


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