Do you fit the company culture?

September 14, 2004

Do you fit the company culture?

Company culture, everyone is talking about it, managers are fostering and developing it, hiring managers and recruitment companies/consultants are assessing it in applicants and customers are using it to discriminate when choosing which company to buy from.

What is company culture?
In simple terms company culture is the personality and values of the company. For example one company (Company B) may view its company culture as being dynamics, results oriented and cutting edge. Another company (Company C) may view its company culture as being professional, stable and quality focussed. Both of these companies could be in the same industry and offer the same type of services but company culture is one way that they can differentiate both internally and externally.

Impact on hiring decision
When I conduct interview coaching I always stress the importance of the company culture in anticipating the employer?s hiring decisions. For example in the above description of two possible types of company cultures Company B would most likely being looking for very different personalities in candidates than Company C.

Know the company culture
When going for interviews or working in an organisation it is very important to understand the company culture. During the interview you need to demonstrate that you would fit the company culture, knowing that employers will discriminate based on your ability to fit in their desired company culture. Imagine if you are in an interview talking about how innovative you are when what the company really cares about is how conscious of quality you are. You might be both innovative and quality conscious but obviously in that situation you need to focus on what is of most interest to the potential employer. Similarly when you work in an organisation, you better know what qualities are important to your boss and the organisation as a whole.

Put simply the success of the relationships that you have in the office will directly affect your success and career path within the organisation.

How to find out about the company culture
? Research, research, research
? Search on the Internet
? Speak to someone who works in the organisation
? Read the position description carefully for clues
? Ask in the interviews
? If you are going through a recruitment agency ? ask the recruiter

By Lisa O’Brien
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