How do you know if a company suits you

How do you choose an organization that really fits you? Ask these questions and find a company culture that matches what you value.

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The best questions to find out if a company suits you

How do you choose an organization that really suits you? Normally it is already a challenge to understand the company culture in an application process but during a (largely) digital procedure it is even more difficult. Because you may not be able to walk around the work floor and therefore cannot form a physical first impression of the look, the atmosphere and the way colleagues treat each other.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel: We collected the questions that you can ask yourself and the company in question to ensure a lasting match.

What do you want?

Before you start looking for a new workplace, it is a good idea to brainstorm with yourself about what you find important and what type of company suits you. By working out the following characteristics and questions you can already compile a valuable checklist for yourself:
Commercial vs. nonprofit
If you get a kick out of achieving goals and working harder for a bonus, then a commercial organization is a logical choice. If you prefer to work for the benefit of society, then a non-profit or government organization is for you.
Big vs. small
What development do you want to go through in the coming years? If you want to specialize in a specific area of your profession, you are more likely to succeed in a large organization. The opportunities for learning and development may also be greater there. If you enjoy getting to know all your colleagues and dealing with a variety of subjects, a smaller organization will suit you better.Local vs. international
Would you like to use your language skills or work abroad for a while? Then a multinational is an attractive starting point.
Social importance / sustainability
How important is an organization’s footprint to you? Are there sectors you do not want to work in, or do you think it is important that the organization acts in a CSR way? Are there industries that really appeal to you, or not?
BtoB or BtoC
Do you like working in services or do you prefer working with a concrete product? And do you prefer to do that for other organizations, or do you like to make the difference for individual consumers?


Does the company culture suit you?

If you have found a vacancy at a company that meets your checklist, then it is important to find out more about the company culture. If a company does not score on all your criteria, then also consider whether you want to make concessions. Our advice is: it never hurts to start a procedure. In the worst case, you have learned a lot and you know better what does not suit you. And at best, you’ve found a great unexpected new place to work.
Do some online research
Of course, you can find a lot of information about most companies online. Check out the website, the socials and pay attention to the tone and diversity of the workforce. How are you addressed; do you see yourself fitting in among the current employees?
Contact current employees
Check out who already works there via Linkedin and who you may know and ask them to give you more insight by answering some questions about the culture. And use the experience of others through review sites like glasdoor and indeed where company employees share their findings about employers.
The application process is of course the perfect opportunity to find out more about your fit with the company. So, color outside your own lines from time to time and engage in that procedure. Only then will you really get to know at first-hand how things work within the company. Do you still have a little doubt? Call the contact person from the job posting with some questions about the job or the company. Such an interview is a good way to put yourself in the spotlight but also to give you a little more feeling with the company.

Ask questions
Once you are in the procedure, use it to ask plenty of questions about the job, the organization, and the culture. We’ve listed some possible questions for you:

  • What has changed since corona in the way you work?
  • What adjustments have you made to ensure that I can still properly onboard?
  • Are there also activities outside of working hours, how often and how obligatory or voluntary are they?
  • What do you do at lunch?
  • How do you measure success? How do you deal with unmet goals?
  • How are decisions made?
  • Where is my position in the organization chart?
  • What are the organizational and departmental goals for the coming year?
  • What changes/developments are coming?
  • What characteristics are most valued internally?
  • Can you tell a little more about my immediate colleagues?
  • What feedback, coaching and direction can I expect?
  • When will I be successful in this role?
  • What are my career opportunities within the company?
  • What is the company’s stance on hybrid working?
  • What are the training opportunities?
  • Which people would you advise against coming to work here?

Finally: The proof in the pudding is in the eating. So, if it’s (corona-proof) possible, take a trial day or go for a lunch walk with someone from the team before you make your final decision. And constantly keep these questions in mind: how I feel about this and will this job with this organization help me further towards the goal I see before me when it comes to my career.

Good to know: If you engage ExactPI’s recruitment consultants in your search, we will of course advise you and tell you all about our clients’ organizational culture.

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