It is well documented that workplace friendships can improve your performance. When you have connections at work, you are happier to be there. And, since most people spend as much time with their co-workers as they do close family members, it’s no surprise that these relationships matter. So, how do you find out if a job opportunity comes with more than a great set of job duties, but also with great people? By following these tips.
Start with the Interview
When you come in for an interview, you often get your first glimpse into the work environment. You get insights regarding the company culture and how the workspace is physically structured. It is also generally the first real conversation you have with someone working there.
After visually reviewing the environment, feel free to ask questions about it. Most interviews come with the obligatory “do you have any questions for me” section, so now is a great time to get the answers you need. For example, you can ask about how the organization approaches team building or if co-workers tend to get together after hours. You can also ask if you will have an opportunity to meet potential co-workers as part of the interview process.
Since cultural fit is being stressed by more companies, it is possible that team introductions are already on the schedule for top candidates.
Since organizations understand the value of a strong cultural fit, it is also important that you be yourself throughout the process. Most candidates are in the habit of not just putting their best foot forward, but in restraining their personality to fit someone else’s mold. While this may increase a person’s odds of landing a position in some cases, it doesn’t give the company a chance to really consider whether you will fit in culturally.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should let it all hang out, but don’t feel pressured into hiding every quirk or idiosyncrasy.
Have a Life (and Talk About It!)
Another habit of old involves presenting yourself as if you are a work-oriented robot who lives and breathes all things office-related. Just as restraining your personality can give hiring managers the wrong impression about your cultural fit, neglecting to present yourself as a whole person who isn’t solely focused on your career can lead to a poor fit.
When discussing anecdotes and experiences during the interview, feel free to open up a bit about who you are outside of your work hours. You aren’t going to find your ideal set of co-workers if people aren’t getting insights into the real you from the beginning.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
If after the interviews and the meet-and-greets, the cultural fit doesn’t seem right to you, don’t be afraid to say no if a job offer comes along. You will be spending a significant amount of your life at work and, if you can’t imagine yourself fitting in with the people you have met, then it may be wise to keep looking.
Settling for a less than ideal work environment won’t create long-term happiness, so take that into consideration before accepting a position. If you are looking for new job opportunities or a chance to find your ideal workplace, The Advance Group can help you explore your options. Contact our professional staff today and see what may be on the horizon.