5 Job Interview Questions That Will Help You Understand a Company's Culture


Written by JobNow Contributor
February 24, 2021

Job Interview

 

Do you have a big job interview coming up? Do you want to know if the company is right for you? If so, you need to be prepared with some thorough job interview questions.

Over the past few decades, company culture has become a big deal. Tech giants such as Apple know this, so they offer their employees many benefits. These include free gym access, free food and drink, massages on-site and space to take naps.

As the years have gone by, other companies have followed. Job adverts now include all the perks a company can offer their employees. But how do you know if it's genuine? Whilst Apple list all the benefits their employees are entitled to; other companies hide behind common phrases. These are things like 'great company culture' and 'friendly environment'.

These phrases don't give you in-depth knowledge of how the company treats employees. So, you need to find out for yourself.

In this article, we'll share five key questions you can ask in your job interview. These will help give you an insight into the company culture and its values.

Read on for more information.

 

1. How Many Members of Staff Have Flexible Working Hours?

The old fashioned 9-5 routine is starting to become phased out. Companies have realised their employees are human and have a life outside of work. These could be childcare commitments, looking after elderly relatives, or just pursuing hobbies. To help accommodate, companies have started to offer flexible working conditions to employees. This could be no set start/finish times or the option to work from home.

If you need flexible working hours, then don't demand it but ask this question instead. If lots of employees have flexible working hours, then you know the company adapts to personal needs. This shows consideration and support for staff. You can then go ahead and ask for a schedule to suit you.

Just remember that not all businesses can offer these benefits due to job requirements. So keep that in mind before you ask in the interview.

 

2. What Activities Do You Offer Employees?

The benefits of staff outings, company lunches and social activities can be massive. Not only does it help boost morale and team bonding, but it makes employees feel more appreciated. It also shows that the company wants staff to like each other and to create a team. If you want to work for this type of business, ask them to be specific about all activities. You should also ask when the last one was and how many attended.

If there's some sort of event each month and all staff attend, then you know they take it seriously. But, if these activities aren't a regular occurrence, it can show a lack of appreciation.

 

team event

 

3. What Was the Biggest Challenge the Company Faced Last Year, and What Did You Learn From It?

It's important to know how your potential new employer handles challenges. Depending on the answer, it can show whether they problem-solve or have a blame culture. It's obvious that the latter isn't good and creates a negative environment. There won't be a strong team dynamic, and employees will look out for themselves. You could also find yourself receiving the blame for something due to being new.

Instead, the answer should explain what the problem was and why it occurred. They should then explain what steps they took to overcome it and how they intend to prevent it in the future.

 

4. How Long Have You Worked for the Company?

This is the perfect question to try and gauge the staff turnover rate. A high staff turnover is a clear sign that something isn't right.

And, it's usually to do with the way the company treats its employees. If the person or people interviewing, you have only been there a short time, then dig deeper. Ask when they came on board and why their predecessors left. If they have been with the business for a long time, ask about other team members. If the majority of them are new, then it may show a poor company atmosphere.

End of the day, if people like something, then they find it hard to let go. If the company can boast that many employees have worked there for years, you know they're doing something right. Just remember that this question isn't suitable for a new startup.

 

5. Can You Show Me Around the Office?

Usually, when you go to a job interview, you see the reception and a meeting room. But, this is the perfect time to get some insight into a typical working day. Before you leave, ask to be shown around the office. You'll then get the chance to see how teams work and even interact with some of them.

When you walk around, be aware of how people are working. Are they sat at their desk with headphones in? Are they chatting? Do they acknowledge you as you walk past? By looking out for these things, you can decide whether this is a good fit for you.

It would help if you also took note of how the offices are decorated. For instance, do they show off big accomplishments? If it's around Christmas, do they have decorations up?

These can also indicate the type of atmosphere in the office and be a reflection of company values.

 

The Best Job Interview Questions to Ask

As you can see, there are many good questions to ask in a job interview that can help identify company values. We recommend asking at least some of these to help you decide whether the company is right for you.

Finally, if you're still searching for that ideal role, then create a job seeker profile with us to see the current opportunities available.