20 Questions to find out the corporate culture before you accept the job

  1. Is the environment fast paced, slow or somewhere in between? What seems to be driving this pace?
  2. Does the culture dictate that the average work day is 8 to 5 or longer? Why is that?  If it’s longer, is there always more work to be done than can be done in an 8 hour day or do people just stay so they “look good”?  Is the work day flexible or rigid?  Do most employees come early and stay late, or do they come late and stay late, etc?  How would you characterize work/life balance?
  3. Does it seem like a “fun” place to work, or does the group seem more serious? Perhaps they have a lot of fun together, yet work very, very hard.
  4. Does this group do things together outside of the office where participation is expected in order to become accepted as a team member? This might include evening occasional dinners together, occasional office parties, working on civic projects together, etc.
  5. Are the employees a well-knit, close team?  Are they openly receptive to new team members? Do they trust easily, or do new members typically take a long time to be accepted?  Do team members respect and value everyone? Do the team members hold themselves accountable, taking responsibility for their actions and their effect on others?
  6. Does the department/company encourage open dialogue (really), but with the understanding that you have to be able to prove your point if you have a different idea or disagree with the way things are done?
  7. Are the work processes well-defined or unclear? Do the employees of that group/team/department embrace the way it is?  Or are they open to change?  Do they (really) want to have best practices?
  8. Is creativity valued more highly than conformity, or is it the other way around? Think of real examples to prove your conclusion.
  9. What part does risk play in the department/company? Are the employees risk takers or do they typically play it safe? Is there a readiness to try new things?  Would you characterize the group as one who cherishes new information and ideas?  Is change embraced, or avoided?
  10. How are important decisions made? Are these decisions typically made quickly, or does it seem to take forever? Do the employees have lots of freedom to make choices and decisions, or does virtually everything have to be run through management before action is taken?  How are these decisions communicated?
  11. Is there (really) a commitment to excellence? Is great customer service (internal and external customers) actually a part of the everyday environment, or does it only get lip service?
  12. Do the employees have all of the resources they need to do a first-class job, or do they have to get by on less than ideal? Will they have to work in an environment that is a significant “work-in-progress” (recognizing that culture and environment are dynamic, not static).
  13. Do the employees have pride in their work, their department and the company? If so, is (really) pride “in a job well done”, or would others likely see it as less humble and more like arrogance?
  14. What are the personality traits of those that get rewarded for a job well done? What types of achievements get public attention and reward?
  15. What is the physical layout of the work area (cube, office, large, small, windows, etc)? Will they fit the new employee?
  16. What does the dress code say about the environment?
  17. Could something be learned by just looking at what’s on the office area walls as well as on the walls and shelves of the team members’ office/cube? What would that be?
  18. Where does honesty and integrity fit in? Does the team walk the talk, consistently following a code of conduct that reflects high ethical, personal, and professional standards?
  19. Do managers encourage open communication (really) and encourage new ideas and opinions? Do they “walk the talk”?  Do the managers hold themselves accountable, taking responsibility for their actions and their effect on others?
  20. Can the group values be documented in a meaningful way, or would you find it hard to determine whether group values even exist? If these are difficult to pin down, expect trouble.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal