If you’re planning on interviewing for a new job the most important thing that you can do is demonstrate that you can fit right in. And by fitting in, I mean that you’re willing and able to seamlessly slide into the corporate culture.
Although your resume got you in the door, during the interview the hiring manager needs to see that you can buy into the vision of the company, immediately.
As a new employee you have to adapt to the culture rather than the culture adapting to you. But remember that this goes both ways. As much as you need to prove you’re a fit, it’s also your opportunity to make sure that the company creates a good connection for you.
Fortunately, the corporate tide has changed dramatically and businesses are adjusting their strategies to ensure that they provide a well rounded and promising work experience for their staff. Corporations have found that employees who are happy with the culture are far more productive and driven in their roles.
It’s true that young, idealistic workers are now the majority of the workforce. And in this social-driven marketplace millennials are vetting companies based on their proficiency to communicate their brand, its corporate mantra, and employee value proposition.
According to the Harvard Business Review, over 60% of CEOs already report that they have developed an employee brand proposition, which we now understand is what potential employees want and require to accept a position. And according to Fast Company, over half of millennials are willing to take a 15% pay cut to work at a company that matches their ideals. Glassdoor found that employees want to buy into the corporate culture more so than acquiring compensation and work-life balance.
John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market said,
“If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.”
So what do you need to learn during your interview—especially if you’re looking to fit in? I would suggest that you get these discrete questions answered before you make a decision to accept an offer:
- How are employees developed in the company?
- How is risk-taking rewarded?
- Can you feel free to share your opinions about the work environment?
- What are some of the things that might get under your skin about working here?
- How does the organization deal with managers who manage poorly?
And here are some pointers that you can use to prepare for your interview—prove that you’re a good match when you’re in front of the hiring manager.
- Understand Your Potential Employer’s Culture. Use LinkedIn and Glassdoor to do as much research as you can about the company, including their core values, so that you appear knowledgeable.
- Use Your Network to Your Advantage. It will give you a leg up if you can talk to a current or recent employee. Comb your own networks first. If that doesn’t turn up a connection, use LinkedIn to find past employees. Let them know you’re interviewing and be prepared to ask very targeted questions. For example: Can you describe the office politics? Is there high turnover or constant churn? What is management style?
- Be a Team Player. It’s critical to show that you can collaborate—with executives, managers, peers, and direct reports. Ask a lot of questions about the success, abilities, and personalities of your potential team. And use your past experience to talk about your ability to understand your team’s pain points and how to effectively solve problems.
- Demonstrate Your Motivation. Before you go into the interview, research the company’s business model, understand the industry and its competitors. Share stories and case studies about your past experiences and how they relate to the role that you’re interviewing for. Illustrate how you’re able to perform at a high level and push the envelope of innovation. Show excitement and your eagerness to grow with the company.
Just remember, show your value, but use your gut instinct to determine if the job is the right fit for you.