Four Tips For Finding the Perfect Job Match

As a job seeker, it’s easy to zero in on pay, benefits, and even work-life balance. We refer to these as “The Basics”. But don’t skip what may be the most important step of the process: making sure you — and the company you’re considering — are a suitable workplace culture match.

Fourt Tips for job match

Our research shows perks are least important to employee satisfaction. Instead, what really matters is workplace culture. So how do you know if you’ve found a good fit? Well, it starts with knowing what to look for — and what questions to ask.

1. Do your homework

If you’re like most people, you’ll want to feel you’re contributing to something meaningful. Pull up the company website and take a look around.

  • Is it easy to pick out its mission, purpose, and vision?
  • Why does the company appear to exist?
  • Are the company values stated—and do they resonate with you personally?
  • Ask a friend or trusted partner, “Does this describe me?”

2. Perform an onsite values check

Ask the interviewer to share — and explain the meaning behind — the company’s core values.

You’re checking for a couple of things here. First, do the company’s values have meaning to you? And second, is it clear that employees internalize and practice them? You need to know what’s most important to the organization—and how people work together on an everyday basis.

If you’ve done your homework and you were able to identify the company’s values, yet the person leading the interview isn’t able to articulate these points, consider this a waving red flag.

3. Who’s doing the talking?

Interviewers should give you the opportunity to speak and to ask questions. But if you find yourself doing all the listening and not so much talking, this is another red flag. It’s also an indication that psychological safety might not exist within the organization. Take heed.

4. On job and recruiting sites

Here’s one more consideration: Avoid giving credence to websites that allow employees – and former employees – to anonymously review companies and their management. While popular among job seekers, these websites don’t verify their sources. There’s no way for you to know whether the comments are coming from a competitor or a recently fired employee who has an axe to grind.

So, you are ready to get out there. Do your homework and ask the right questions. You’ll get the workplace culture answers you need to make an informed decision—and hopefully clinch a job that’s satisfying for the long term. Good luck and happy hunting!

Doug Claffey is founder and chief strategy officer at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.

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