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What is the Company Culture?

Landing a great job is not just about getting an offer and earning a paycheck. Loving your job is about finding the right company culture for you. It's about working in an environment aligned with your values and beliefs. Working at a company with values inconsistent with yours is stressful and unrewarding. The quality of your work life is also directly correlated to your supervisor's attitudes, values, and beliefs. A person's values significantly affect their behavior and hence how you are treated. No matter how great the position, if you're working in a caustic, understaffed, and unethical culture, you'll feel unfulfilled.

The job interview is your opportunity to assess the work environment and organizational norms. But how can you assess the culture while you're being interviewed?

Organizational culture is composed of the values, behaviors, beliefs, and norms that permeate the group. Culture is expressed through words and behaviors of each employee. Culture is like a recipe where each person is an ingredient. Company or department leadership set the overall tone.

Interviewers say "the candidate fits" or "doesn't fit" to describe a candidate's qualifications. What interviewers are really saying is the candidate fits or doesn't fit the company culture.

To perpetuate corporate culture, companies hire people they feel "fit" and reject qualified candidates whom they believe "don't fit" their culture. During each interview, you have an opportunity to assess how the culture aligns with your values. Rarely will you find an environment totally aligned with your values. You can however, find organizations where the culture and your values can coexi st.

Clues to company culture are found in interviewer behavior and their words. Below is a list of organizational cultural indicators.

Questions you can ask about organizational culture are listed below.

Job interviews are business events where your talents are evaluated. Interviews are also your opportunity to evaluate how the company's culture compliments your values.

- Michael R. Neece, CEO Interview Mastery

Interview Mastery is the Internet's most widely used job interview prep program in the world used by job seekers in 70+ countries and 100+ colleges and regional career centers.