How Can I Learn About a Company’s Culture Before the Interview?

You’ve secured the interview and chosen your outfit. Now you need to take a crucial next step: research the company. As the saying goes, “Forewarned is forearmed,” and if you want to both make a good impression on your interviewer and learn if the company is a good fit for you, you need to do some research. And take the latter seriously: Good fit between employee and company has just as much to do with longevity as having the right experience and skills for the job.

  • Check out what others think. Most of us look at product reviews before making our latest Amazon purchase; you should do the same for the company you’re considering. Check out sites such as Glassdoor to see what others who have worked there think about the company and its inner workings. Use a major search engine to look up what customers have said about specific products or services, as well as experiences both positive and negative. If possible, find someone in the industry who can give you insight off the record.
  • Look at the company’s website. As you do so, compare it with what others say: Do they seem to align, or does the company tell a different story of its public face than others do? Go in depth: Look at the “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages, as well as others that may tell you something about their mission and other causes they focus on. If they have press releases, read them for potential talking points and to see what direction they’re headed in. Acquaint yourself with their major products/services. Focus on the tone of the writing: Is it very formal or more friendly and welcoming? Does the website look carefully done or simply put together? All of this will give you insight into how the company does things.
  • Keep sleuthing once you get there. Look around as you wait. What mood does the company seem to exude? Do you see people interacting or simply getting down to work? How is everyone dressed? How does the receptionist, the first public face of the company, act toward you and others? Ask for a tour of the office to get more of a feel for all of this and see how the employees react to you as you walk through. Take stock of which points whoever gives the tour emphasizes; this will also give you an idea as to where their focus lies.

Before you walk into an interview, do your due diligence. To get a great inside scoop on a potential employer, work with the local specialized recruiters at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks Ventura County.