5 Ways To See If Your Next Job Is A Cultural Fit

April 02, 2015 by Raymond Lee

Have you ever accepted a job to find out that it was not what you were promised? Unfortunately, this happens to many people at least once within their careers. As the war for talent becomes more intense each year, hiring managers feel more pressure to attract the best candidates to their company. This can lead to them telling enticing lies about culture, work/life balance, and promotion opportunities, etc, that really are too good to be true. This unfortunate trend may affect many employees, and these little white lies could lead to a big turnover problem. There are several ways in which a candidate can negate this problem before accepting a job offer. Below are 5 ways to see if your next job is a cultural fit.


1) Network Network Network

Before you accept a job, make sure to chat with everyone in your network who may have knowledge of the company. Ask them questions about the culture and what they have heard about the department that you will be working in, and see if they can connect you to anyone who they know who has worked for the company of interest. This will give you a more well-rounded and realistic idea of what the company is like.

2) Speak With More Employees

Don’t just chat with the hiring manager during the job offer process! Before accepting an offer, ask to speak with employees who have been at the company for a while. They will have insights into what the job is actually like, and help clarify the culture. If at all possible, see if you can job shadow an employee in your future department for a day. This will give you a realistic expectation of what your workday would be like.

Don’t be afraid to get granular with your questions especially if some of these things are deal-breakers.  You’ll get the real answers from current employees: Can I work from home? Do I have to pay for parking?  What is the commute like?  Will I be micromanaged?

Maybe these are questions you would ask in the interview, but if there is something that is truly important to you, make sure you get the dirt from a current employee.

3) Ask the Right Questions

It’s not just the company interviewing you to see if you are a fit; you are also interviewing the company. Make sure to come prepared with culture questions to an interview with a hiring manager. It is completely acceptable to have a list of questions with you. This will show your seriousness about the company, and also let the hiring manager know what things are most important to you.

4) Ask for Promises in Writing

Did the hiring manager interviewing you promise a bonus, or telecommuting flexibility? If possible, get all promises written down in your offer. This will prevent your hiring manager from shirking on their responsibilities.

5) Check Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a great website that shows peer-reviewed reviews of companies. It will give you details about salary, work/life balance, benefits, advancement opportunities, and culture. It never hurts to take a look at the companies you are pursuing in addition to the steps above. While a company may brag about their health benefits or opportunities for advancement during your interviews,  you may find on Glassdoor that the opportunities promised are hard to come by or nonexistent.  While one shouldn’t base their entire decision on the anonymous reviews, if you are unsure about a position after networking and job shadowing, the Glassdoor reviews may help you make up your mind.

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

In need of outplacement assistance?

At Careerminds, we care about people first. That’s why we offer personalized talent management solutions for every level at lower costs, globally.

Speak with an Expert

Log In Contact Us