5 Tips to Learn about Organizational Culture While Interviewing Remotely
How does remote work affect company culture? Why does organizational culture matter?
Let’s find the answers.
According to a Jobvite survey, 52 percent of workers believe that company culture is as vital as ever in a remote environment. Apart from salary, job roles, and responsibilities, a candidate must also know the organizational culture before accepting an offer.
What is organizational culture?
Organizational culture is a collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide the actions of all employees within a company. According to a study, 94 percent of entrepreneurs and 88 percent of job seekers say that healthy work culture is vital for the success of a business.
Companies with strong organizational culture…
- Attract the best talent
- Create transparency in communication between the leadership, management, and other employees of the company
- Provide growth opportunities for employees
- Nurture an environment where employees feel valued and supported
- Create a healthy work-life balance
Positive company culture is key to hiring and retaining employees in a physical work environment. But, in remote work, the need to build an influential organizational culture is even more as it helps remote teams communicate, collaborate, and perform better.
Hannah Fleishman, Director of Employer Brand and Internal Communications at HubSpot, says: “It’s important to understand a company’s culture because you don’t just want to join an organization where you can work. You want to join one where you can do your best work.”
In remote hiring, candidates don’t meet interviewers and team members in person. This lack of in-person interaction often leaves them confused about the company culture.
How do you learn about the company culture when interviewing remotely?
Pre-pandemic, candidates could get a fair picture of an organization’s culture by visiting the office, having face-to-face interviews, and gaining first-hand experience of the infrastructure and facilities. However, it’s tough for candidates to analyze the company culture in a remote setup.
Here are five interesting ways to evaluate the organizational culture before accepting a job offer:
Conduct a thorough web searchAs a job applicant, what is the first thing you would do when shortlisted for an interview, be it in person or remote?
You’d look up the company on Google, visit the company’s website and social media handles, and read every possible company review. You would also look for YouTube videos, press releases, and any news related to the company!
Sure, you must do all of the above. But in addition to this, you should also check sites like Glassdoor, Mouthshut, TrustPilot, etc. These sites invite present and ex-employees to post reviews about various aspects of the company, from the work culture and workload to management and leadership. And thus, these platforms can help you get a better insight into the company.
Leverage LinkedIn to the fullestLinkedIn is one of the most influential businesses and employment-oriented online services. Every company page on LinkedIn has various sections that provide valuable information about the organization, its operations, employees, and culture. Naturally, LinkedIn is also one of the best platforms to research companies and their culture.
The home tab features posts and articles shared by the company for customers, employees, and followers. The home tab can also help you understand how the company engages with its audience.
Apart from this, the about us section overviews the company. The jobs section lists the current openings in the company. In the people’s tab, you can find company employees based on the country they live in, the university they studied at, and their job roles.
Apart from this, you can also try connecting with the company’s existing employees before accepting an offer. Message them directly to find out more about the company.
You can also go through the bios of company leaders on LinkedIn to understand their professional backgrounds, connections, and involvement in the company activities. By taking these steps, you will know if the leaders are aligned with the company’s goals, mission, and vision.
In addition, you can also go through different employees’ profiles and look at their tenure with the company. A strong work culture retains employees for longer terms.
Analyze the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives taken by the companyDiversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a workplace training model that encourages self-awareness, cultural competency, and empathy in employees, promoting a safe, welcoming workplace environment irrespective of caste, creed, gender, and ethnicity. A diverse workforce and an inclusive environment depict a strong organizational culture. More than three out of four job seekers report that a diverse workforce is important when evaluating job offers.
Most importantly, the hiring policies and initiatives to retain and advance employees from underrepresented groups are an essential indicator of how the organization is developing its DE&I strategy. And so, you should conduct thorough research on the company’s DE&I initiatives. See if the company is recruiting diverse candidates and effectively embracing DE&I.
Related post: 6 Tips to Create an LGBTQ+ Community Friendly Hiring Process
Ask questions during the interview.Before the interview begins, prepare a set of unique questions that will help you understand the company culture and work environment. When the ball is in your court, make the best use of it. Instead of posing generic questions like, “Can you brief me about your company’s work culture?”, ask specific questions like
- How is a new employee guided through the company policies and work process?
- What tools and technology are used for collaboration and communication while working remotely?
- How is an inclusive culture created for underrepresented employees?
- What job security policies are in place for remote employees?
- What is the feedback process for remote employees?
- Does the company observe and celebrate festivals and occasions virtually?
- What kind of growth opportunities are available for remote employees?
Look out for company-wide celebration initiatives.Celebrations at the workplace are an excellent way to motivate and engage employees. Dedicating time to commemorate special moments with the team is a great way to make employees happier, enhance productivity, and boost morale. Such celebrations are especially important in a remote setup. You can check out the social media pages of the companies hiring you to see how they celebrate special events.
These celebrations can be related to
- Company and employee work anniversaries
- Welcoming new team members
- Employee milestones and achievements
- Team meetups
- Topical celebrations like International Women’s Day, World Environment Day, Pride Month, etc.
As a job-seeker, investing time and energy to do thorough research about the company you’re planning to join is worth the effort. Whatever the job title, remember that a company’s goals and mission should align with your values.
A strong organizational culture leads to better job satisfaction, work-life balance, and a strong bond between employees and employers.
If you wish to join a company with excellent work culture, try Turing. Turing was named as one of America’s best startup employers by Forbes two years in a row.
Turing is a remote-first company that helps connect world-class remote software engineers with world-class companies. Turing makes the remote hiring journey easy and rewarding for companies and developers.
- What are the ways to learn about organizational culture?
The best ways to learn about company culture are
- Conducting a thorough web search
- Leveraging LinkedIn
- Asking questions during the interview
- Checking on the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives taken by the company
- Learning about the company-wide celebrations
- Conducting a thorough web search
- How do you stand out in a remote interview?
- Dress up professionally
- Spend enough time researching the company
- Create a proper workspace with a clean background
- Prepare notes and keep them handy
- Be confident while answering questions
- Be prepared with a list of questions to ask the interviewer
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